Case Management

Mentor Moment: 30-day readmissions rule under two-pronged attack

Case Management Weekly, April 4, 2012

Five months before Medicare’s hospital readmission penalties take effect, two groups of authors say Congress and the government are taking the wrong approach.

Although the authors make different points, each says that the regulation, embedded in the Affordable Care Act, won’t accomplish its intent. Both are published in Perspectives in the March 29 New England Journal of Medicine.

“Policymakers’ emphasis on 30-day readmissions is misguided for three reasons,” says one article “Thirty-Day Readmissions—Truth or Consequences,” by Karen Joynt, MD, and Ashish Jha, MD, of the Harvard School of Public Health.

Joynt and Jha wrote very few of the millions of readmissions being targeted are actually preventable, ranging from at best 59%, but more realistically 12% when clinical data was obtained.

The bottom line, they said, is that “readmissions may be a poor marker of hospital performance.”

Read the rest of this post and more on HCPro’s Case Management Mentor blog.

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