Hospital Readmission Rate Declines 18 Percent

Hospital Discharge

The 30-day hospital readmission rate dropped about 18 percent in 2013, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) blog post

Hospital Readmission Rate

Regulations under Affordable Care Act has led to 130,000 fewer 30-day Medicare hospital readmissions in the first 8 months of 2013.

During the first eight months of 2013, the 30-day Medicare readmission rate for all causes and conditions averaged less than 18 percent, translating into an estimated 130,000 fewer hospital readmissions between January 2012 and August 2013, according to the CMS data.

Prior to the regulations taking effect under the Affordable Care Act, the 30-day hospital readmission rate for all conditions held steady at 19 percent from 2007 to 2011.

The declining trend is widespread across the country. Comparing readmission rates over the first eight months of 2013 to the average rates for 2007 to 2011 in local health care markets, CMS found that 2013′s readmission rates were at least a half of a percentage lower in 76 percent of local markets—or 232 of the 306 recorded by CMS.

Fewer than 10 percent of local markets had higher rates. Using the same comparison, readmission rates also dropped in 49 states and the District of Columbia.

“We can see that the decline in all-cause readmission rates that began in 2012 is continuing this year on a widespread basis,” wrote CMS. “While we continue to monitor and study these encouraging reductions, what is clear is that intense focus on reducing hospital re-admissions through improved process of care and new tools in the Affordable Care Act are having a demonstrably positive impact.”

Read entire blog post.