Navigation Links
Availability of Beds, Poverty Drive Costly Hospital Readmissions
Date:5/11/2012

FRIDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Regions of the United States with lots of hospital beds and a large population of lower-income patients tend to have higher hospital readmission rates than regions with fewer beds and a more affluent, healthier population, new research finds.

Factors related to supply and demand had more of an influence on readmission rates than the severity of the illness or the quality of care received by patients the first time they were admitted into the hospital, the study showed.

High hospital readmission rates, in which a patient is discharged but lands up back in the hospital soon after, is considered a key driver of soaring medical costs, and there have been many efforts over the past several years to try to keep people from returning to hospitals by improving follow-up care after discharge, with home health nurses, primary care doctors and other outpatient services.

Hospital readmission rates in the United States range from 10 percent to 32 percent, according to the study.

Based on their findings, researchers argued that new Medicare regulations that punish hospitals for high readmission rates may not actually improve care.

"We have to find ways to help hospitals and communities address this problem together, as opposed to putting the burden on hospitals alone," study author Dr. Karen Joynt, an instructor at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health, said in a news release. "We need to think less about comparing hospitals to each other in terms of their performance and more about looking at improvement in hospitals and communities."

Researchers examined billing records from more than 3,000 hospitals across the United States from 2008 to 2009 involving more than 1 million elderly Medicare patients with heart failure. Patients' average age was 81. About 55 percent were female and 11 percent were black.

Communities with higher readmission rates were more likely to have a greater number of physicians and hospital beds. These supply-side factors accounted for 17 percent of the discrepancy in readmission rates.

The researchers also found the patients at these hospitals were likely to be poor, black and relatively sicker. Poverty and minority racial makeup accounted for 9 percent of the difference in readmission rates.

Meanwhile, hospital-performance quality accounted for 5 percent of the difference in readmission rates, and the severity of patients' illness accounted for 4 percent.

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services plans to reduce payments to hospitals with higher-than-average 30-day readmission rates related to heart failure, heart attack and pneumonia next year, according to the authors. They argued this measure ignores the supply-side factors and societal influences driving readmission rates.

"To really address the readmissions issue, we need to think about this in terms of community and population health," Joynt noted. "Focusing on community-level factors -- such as the supply and mix of physicians and targeting efforts towards poor and minority communities -- may be more fruitful approaches to reducing readmissions. We need to think outside the walls of the hospital."

The study was expected to be presented Friday at the American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Research meeting in Atlanta. Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides more information on hospital readmissions.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: American Heart Association, news release, May 11, 2012


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Hospital readmission rates linked to availability of care, socioeconomics
2. Availability of local food key to improving food security
3. Difference in ICU care between the US and UK reflect extremes of bed availability
4. Surgeon availability tied to survival rate in vehicle crashes
5. WRHR scholar to study contraception availability for female veterans
6. The Ross Summit to focus on new survival data, technique refinement and availability
7. New Features From CleanItSupply.com Set the Industry Standards for Product Availability, Knowledge, Pricing and Service
8. Harmony Information Systems Announces Availability of Harmony for Aging Provider Direct
9. Harmony Information Systems Announces Availability of Harmony for Aging Waivers Edition
10. Study examines global availability of treatment involving transplantation of blood stem cells
11. NIAID media availability: Food allergy-related disorder linked to master allergy gene
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... Austin, TX (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... Fellow of the American College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for ... popular and highly effective treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... City, Oklahoma (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 ... ... helping both athletes and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic ... the Oklahoma City area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle ... chronic pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of ... Sickle Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the red ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is ... Road To Recovery® program to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. ... the highest quality of life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Grove Investment Group (TGIG), has initiated cultivation and processing operations at its production ... and Pahrump, Nevada. , Puradigm is the manufacturer of a complete system of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Bracket , a leading clinical trial technology ... outcomes platform, Bracket eCOA (SM) 6.0, at the 52 ... 30, 2016 in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania.  A ... product of its kind to fully integrate with RTSM, will ... 6.0 is a flexible platform for electronic clinical outcomes assessments ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Revolutionary ... Oticon , industry leaders in advanced audiology ... of Oticon Opn ™, the world,s first internet ... possibilities for IoT devices.      (Photo: ... introduces a number of ,world firsts,: , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  Experian ... integrating and transforming the patient payment and ... several innovative new products and services that ... its revenue cycle offerings. These award-winning solutions ... efficient workflows, remain compliant in an ever-changing ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: