Medicare Study Analyzes Diagnoses and Timing for Hospital Readmissions

According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association of Medicare fee-for-service claims data for 2007-2009, Medicare patients hospitalized for heart failure, heart attack and pneumonia are readmitted within 30 days for a wide variety of reasons that often differ from the cause of the initial hospitalization. Some of the readmission diagnoses include renal disorders, arrhythmias, septicemia/shock, cardiorespiratory failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. By examining readmission diagnoses and timing, health care professionals can institute better strategies intended to reduce high rates of 30-day readmission after hospitalization for heart failure (HF), acute myocardial infarction (MI), or pneumonia. The study found that only 35% of heart failure patients were readmitted for heart failure and only 22% of pneumonia patients were readmitted for recurrent pneumonia. While more than 60% of readmissions for the three conditions occurred within 15 days of discharge, “the entire 30-day period after discharge is one of heightened vulnerability to readmission from a wide variety of conditions.” In an effort to lower readmission rates, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) began publicly reporting 30-day risk-standardized readmission rates for heart failure (HF), acute myocardial infarction (MI), and pneumonia after these measures were endorsed by the National Quality Forum. These measures are part of a federal strategy to provide incentives to improve quality of care by reducing preventable readmissions. is dedicated to providing quality information and resources for health care and rehab administrators. We offer exclusive online advertising opportunities for businesses in the health care industry looking to reach out to our extensive network of health care administrators and professionals. For more information on how you can expand your network through, contact us at or 718-382-4200.

28. January 2013 by Ruth Folger Weiss
Categories: Health Care, Hospitals | Leave a comment