Nursing

News spotlight: Best and worst hospitals for 30-day mortality

Nurse Leader Insider, September 19, 2011

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Two weeks ago, this column focused on Medicare's latest HospitalCompare spreadsheet, which shows 30-day readmission rates for the 166 best- and 292 worst-performing hospitals for patients diagnosed with heart attack, heart failure or pneumonia.

I focused on readmission rates because that's the criteria the federal government will use next to impose financial penalties, starting at 1% of Medicare DRG payments, for those hospitals in the worst-performing quartile. The judgment period is now in its third year, with penalties for discharges starting Oct. 1, 2012.

But that same table also shows 30-day mortality rates, and names the 380 hospitals that are better and about 320 that are worse than national average in one or more categories. All-cause, risk-adjusted, 30-day mortality is what the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will use to reward for good performance starting in fiscal year 2014 through value-based purchasing incentives.

All-cause mortality includes all deaths for patients treated for those same three conditions starting on the day of their admission. It's important to remember that these mortality rates include deaths not strictly related to the admitting diagnoses, but would also include, say, deaths from a fall, a medication issue, or even a vehicle collision.

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Source: HealthLeaders Media



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