- The District of Columbia and 49 states reduced avoidable hospital readmission rates between 2010 and 2015, according to a Tuesday post in The CMS Blog.
- Nationally, 30-day readmission rates dropped by 8% during the studied time period.
- CMS says federal efforts to address readmission rates like the ACA's Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program are working as Medicare patients avoided an estimated 565,000 readmissions since 2010.
Hospital readmissions are not only costly but also indicative of poor quality of care, CMS Principal Deputy Administrator and CMO Patrick Conway wrote in the blog post. They account for "more than $17 billion in Medicare expenditures annually," he said.
The new data was released a month after Kaiser Health News released an analysis that concluded Medicare readmission penalties on hospitals could reach a record-high total of $528 million. More than half of all hospitals in the country (2,497) will be penalized based on their rates for patients who were discharged from July 2012 through June 2015, KHN found.
On the other hand, CMS' data shows almost all states have reduced 30-day readmission rates, with 11 states seeing a reduction of more than 10%. Vermont was the only state where the rate increased from 15.3% in 2010 to 15.4% in 2015.