Hospital Readmission Rates Dropping Slightly, New Study Finds

Capsules.kaiserhealthnews.org: By Jordan Rau SEPTEMBER 14TH, 2012, 11:44 AM

A new government analysis has found that hospital readmission rates of Medicare patients have fallen more than previously reported, bolstering hope that hospitals are having some success at tackling this stubborn and expensive problem.

Hospital readmissions have been getting extensive attention as a new penalty program kicks in next month, which will cost hospitals as much as 1 percent of their regular Medicare reimbursements.  The Obama administration has set a goal of reducing readmissions by 20 percent, which would save more than $2.5 billion in a year, according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, or MedPAC, an independent agency that advises Congress. Read more