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Hospital rankings for heart failure readmissions unaffected by patient's socioeconomic status
Date:5/13/2014

Medicare program. The costly condition imposes a large burden on the U.S. healthcare system with an estimated cost of $15 billion each year.

Experts have estimated that $12 billion of the annual costs of caring for congestive heart failure could be prevented through prevention of readmissions. To assess hospital performance in this area, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), developed a model to create hospital-level 30-day congestive heart failure RSRR. As a result, hospitals with excessive, or more than expected readmission rates, have begun to lose a percentage of their Medicare reimbursements.

However, according to researchers the current CMS model only accounts for patient age, gender, and co-morbid health conditions and lacks measures of socioeconomic or social status. "There are too few variables in Medicare data to adequately capture a heart failure patient's social risks and therefore insufficient data available to researchers and policymakers to determine if current payment and reimbursement healthcare reform policies hurt hospitals that care for the more socially disadvantaged," says Dr. Blum of Mount Sinai.

According to researchers, better measures may be needed to assess the true impact of socioeconomic risk factors on hospital profiling based on 30-day congestive heart failure readmissions, and to fully explore the impact of CMS's new healthcare reform policies on hospital profiling.


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Contact: Lauren Woods
lauren.woods@mountsinai.org
646-634-0869
The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

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