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J Hosp Med. 2010 Jul-Aug;5(6):E12-8. doi: 10.1002/jhm.822.

The performance of US hospitals as reflected in risk-standardized 30-day mortality and readmission rates for medicare beneficiaries with pneumonia.

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  • 1Center for Quality of Care Research, Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, Massachusetts 01199, USA.



Pneumonia is a leading cause of hospitalization and death in the elderly, and remains the subject of both local and national quality improvement efforts.


To describe patterns of hospital and regional performance in the outcomes of elderly patients with pneumonia.


Cross-sectional study using hospital and outpatient Medicare claims between 2006 and 2009.


A total of 4,813 nonfederal acute care hospitals in the United States and its organized territories.


Hospitalized fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries age 65 years and older who received a principal diagnosis of pneumonia.




Hospital and regional level risk-standardized 30-day mortality and readmission rates.


Of the 1,118,583 patients included in the mortality analysis 129,444 (11.6%) died within 30 days of hospital admission. The median (Q1, Q3) hospital 30-day risk-standardized mortality rate for patients with pneumonia was 11.1% (10.0%, 12.3%), and despite controlling for differences in case mix, ranged from 6.7% to 20.9%. Among the 1,161,817 patients included in the readmission analysis 212,638 (18.3%) were readmitted within 30 days of hospital discharge. The median (Q1, Q3) 30-day risk-standardized readmission rate was 18.2% (17.2%, 19.2%) and ranged from 13.6% to 26.7%. Risk-standardized mortality rates varied across hospital referral regions from a high of 14.9% to a low of 8.7%. Risk-standardized readmission rates varied across hospital referral regions from a high of 22.2% to a low of 15%.


Risk-standardized 30-day mortality and, to a lesser extent, readmission rates for patients with pneumonia vary substantially across hospitals and regions and may present opportunities for quality improvement, especially at low performing institutions and areas.

(c) 2010 Society of Hospital Medicine.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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