Health care quality: Hospital readmission rates, innovations in patient care

Published on December 19, 2012 at 6:44 AM · No Comments

Modern Healthcare reports on new research that raises questions about the relationship between shorter hospital stays and higher hospital readmission rates.

Modern Healthcare: Shorter Hospital Stays Don't Necessarily Mean Higher Readmissions: Study
Hospitals that have grappled with how best to curb length of stay while also preventing readmissions may find comfort in a new study that suggests that a drop in the former does not necessarily mean a greater number of the latter. Using 14 years of data from 129 Veterans Affairs hospitals, researchers concluded that an overall reduction in risk-adjusted length of stay was not associated with a corresponding spike in 30-day readmission rates, according to the VA-funded study, published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine. From 1997-2010, overall length of stay for the five conditions examined fell nearly 27%, to 3.98 days from 5.44 days. Meanwhile, 30-day readmission rates for those conditions, including heart failure and heart attack, fell to 13.8% from 16.5% (McKinney, 12/17).

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal explores innovations that are improving patient care and outcomes, while also lowering costs -

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