Study: Readmission Rates Tied to Community Factors More So Than Hospital Quality

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<p>A majority of the variation seen in U.S. hospitals’ readmission rates for heart attack, heart failure, and pneumonia can be attributed to where individual hospitals are located, rather than to the quality of care they provide, a new Commonwealth Fund–supported study finds. </p><p>Writing in <em>Health Services Research</em>, researchers led by Jeph Herrin of the Yale University School of Medicine conclude that community factors—especially a greater number of general practitioners per capita relative to specialists, and the availability of high-quality nursing home care—are most strongly associated with <a href="/publications/journal-article/2014/apr/community-factors-and-hospital-readmission-rates">lower rates of readmission</a> within 30 days of discharge. </p>
<p>Given their findings, the authors argue that penalizing hospitals with readmission rates above a certain threshold alone may not be as effective as programs that help ensure patients make a successful transition from hospital to home. </p>
<p>Read more at <a href="/publications/journal-article/2014/apr/community-factors-and-hospital-readmission-rates"></a>. </p>