On September 13th, CMS released data showing that 49 states (all but Vermont) have reduced avoidable hospital readmission rates since 2010. To address the problem of avoidable readmissions, the Affordable Care Act created the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, which adjusts payments for hospitals with higher than expected 30-day readmission rates for targeted clinical conditions such as:
- heart attacks
- heart failure
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has also undertaken other major quality improvement initiatives, such as the Partnership for Patients, which aim to make hospital care safer and improve the quality of care for individuals as they move from one health care setting to another.
The data show that these efforts are working. Between 2010 and 2015, readmission rates fell by 8% nationally. The data shows 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.