TrendLens November 16, 2017 - The #1 Cause Of Readmissions

Lisa Remington

Welcome to TrendLens…trends bending the curve in home health and post-acute care. In this issue of Trendlens, we focus on the leading cause of readmissions and associated costs. We provide five different ways organizations can minimize readmissions.

Lisa Remington, President, Remington Health Strategy Group

The Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP) follows 30-day readmissions for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and pneumonia. Perhaps what isn’t widely known is the association of Sepsis with these four conditions.

In a recent Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), a study hypothesized that Sepsis hospitalizations account for a higher proportion of unplanned 30-day readmissions than hospitalizations for AMI, heart failure, COPD, and pneumonia in the United States.1 The study analyzed data from the 2013 Nationwide Readmissions Database, which aggregates acute care hospitalizations from 21 states and represents inpatient use for 49% of the US population.

The findings revealed that Sepsis has a greater readmission rate (12.2%) than all four of the medical conditions currently tracked by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

  • Heart attack (1.3%)
  • Heart failure (6.7%)
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (4.6%)
  • Pneumonia

Sepsis is not only the most common cause of readmissions, the mean length of stay for Sepsis readmissions was also longer than for AMI, heart failure, COPD, and pneumonia.

Two new federal laws require post-acute providers to publicly report their 30-day hospital readmissions.

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