New Data: 49 States Plus DC Reduce Avoidable Hospital Readmissions

September 16, 2016
Policy Snapshot

Between 2010 and 2015, readmission rates fell by 8 percent nationally. On September 13, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released new data showing how these improvements are helping Medicare patients across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The data show that since 2010:

  • All states but one have seen Medicare 30-day readmission rates fall
  • In 43 states, readmission rates fell by more than 5 percent
  • In 11 states, readmission rates fell by more than 10 percent

Across states, Medicare beneficiaries avoided approximately 100,000 readmissions in 2015 alone, compared to if readmission rates had stayed constant at 2010 levels. That means Medicare beneficiaries collectively avoided nearly 100,000 unnecessary return trips to the hospital.

The Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program is just one part of the Administration’s broader strategy to reform the health care system by paying providers for what works, unlocking health care data, and finding new ways to coordinate and integrate care to improve quality. Other initiatives include Accountable Care Organizations, as well as efforts by Quality Improvement Organizations and Hospital Engagement Networks, which fund quality improvement expert consultants to work with provider and hospital communities to improve care. The goal of all of these efforts is to spend our health care dollars more wisely to promote better care for Medicare beneficiaries and other Americans across the country.

To check on rates for your state click here for the CMS Blog.