Health Information Management

News: Revisions to the readmission reduction program proposed

CDI Strategies, March 19, 2015

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Even as CDI programs begin to expand their focus to areas addressed under the Value-Based Purchasing program such as the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP), two U.S. Senators introduced a bill last week to revise the program.

The Establishing Beneficiary Equity in the Hospital Readmission Program Act, would require CMS “to account for patient socio-economic status when calculating the risk-adjusted readmissions penalties,” according to a press release on Senator Rob Portman’s, R-Ohio, website. Hospitals serving disproportionate numbers of disadvantaged, low-income patients have higher rates of readmissions, even when those hospitals provide high-quality, patient-focused care.

Failing to recognize this reality has led to unfair penalties at many rural hospitals. We need to continue to hold our hospitals accountable for the quality of care they provide to Medicare patients, but we can’t let differences in income serve as an obstacle to improving health outcomes,” wrote bill co-signer Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia.

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