Despite literature stating otherwise, a new study finds that readmissions are indeed preventable, research published today in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) suggests.
Researchers analyzed patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) in 15 counties and found that heart attack patients in the United States have higher readmission rates than other countries (14.5% in the United States compared to 9.9% elsewhere). Health reform advocates recently have targeted STEMI patients as a metric of care and an area for cost savings, according to a JAMA press release.
"Our analysis shows that readmission may be preventable because rates are nearly one-third lower in other countries, suggesting that the U.S. health care system has features that can be modified to decrease readmission rates," the study states. "Understanding these international differences may provide important insight into reducing such rates, particularly in the United States."
Beginning in 2013, hospitals will be penalized for high readmission rates under the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program.
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