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Issue Brief (Commonw Fund). 2012 Dec;34:1-16.

Higher readmissions at safety-net hospitals and potential policy solutions.

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  • 1The Commonwealth Fund, USA. jb@cmwf.org

Abstract

The Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP), established by the Affordable Care Act, ties a hospital's payments to its readmission rates--with penalties for hospitals that exceed a national benchmark--to encourage hospitals to reduce avoidable readmissions. This new Commonwealth Fund analysis uses publicly reported 30-day hosĀ­pital readmission rate data to examine whether safety-net hospitals are more likely to have higher readmission rates, compared with other hospitals. Results of this analysis find that safety-net hospitals are 30 percent more likely to have 30-day hospital readmission rates above the national average, compared with non-safety-net hospitals, and will therefore be disproportionately impacted by the HRRP. Policy solutions to help safety-net hospiĀ­tals reduce their readmission rates include targeting quality improvement initiatives for safety-net hospitals; ensuring that broader delivery system improvements include safety-net hospitals and care delivery systems; and enhancing bundled payment rates to account for socioeconomic risk factors.

PMID:
23289161
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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