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Informing Medicare's Strategies to Reduce Hospital Readmissions

Medicare recently began penalizing hospitals with higher-than-expected readmission rates for certain conditions. But when it comes to limiting hospital readmissions, such economic incentives may not be enough to encourage improvement, according to a Commonwealth Fund–supported article published online by Population Health Management. The authors examine the early experiences of participants in the State Action on Avoidable Rehospitalizations, or STAAR, initiative—a three-state effort spearheaded by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and supported by The Commonwealth Fund.

In a related blog post, IHI's Mara Laderman, Saranya Loehrer, and Douglas McCarthy discuss findings from interviews conducted with STAAR participants about the potential impact Medicare’s penalties will have on hospitals, as well as ways to make the new program more effective.

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