According to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Quality of Care & Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions 2012, disparity in regional hospital readmission rates for heart failure are associated more to the accessibility of health care and socioeconomics than to hospital performance or patients’ degree of illness. Researchers found that U.S. regional readmission rates for heart failure range widely from 10 percent to 32 percent. It was observed that communities with higher rates were expected to have more physicians and hospital beds and their populations could be poor, black and comparatively sicker. The rate of readmission is found to be frequent among people 65 and older.
To reduce costs, the Centers for Medicare supplement guide and Medicaid Services plans to reprimand hospitals with higher readmission rates related to heart failure, heart attack and pneumonia. In the coming year, hospitals with higher-than-average 30-day readmission rates will have to face drop in Medicare Plan payments.
Researchers examined national billing records of more than 3,000 hospitals in 2008-09 for more than 1 million elderly Medicare Advantage plans patients who suffered heart failure. Among the patients in the study, 55 percent were female, 11 percent were black and with an average age of 81.
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