New Study Contradicts Hospital Quality Ratings from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Posted on behalf of Stewart Bell, PLLC on Sep 02, 2016 in Medical Malpractice
New research reveals that hospitals that have high readmission rates have lower mortality rates for patients with certain conditions, which contradicts data from hospital ratings done by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
Researchers from Johns Hopkins University studied mortality and readmission rates at 4,500 facilities for three years. They found that patients suffering from heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or a stroke had higher rates of survival at hospitals with high readmission rates than at facilities with low readmission rates.
The authors of the study say that the CMS' method of measuring hospital quality is problematic because it links quality to hospital reimbursements and fines, readmission rates, and mortality rates.
A high readmission rate could be caused by complications or unsuccessful care transitions, but it could also be caused by a "legitimate need to care for chronically ill patients," says Daniel Brotman, leader of the research team.
Brotman is also critical of the CMS for giving equal weight to readmission and mortality rates in its hospital ratings, which skews data against hospitals.
While Brotman criticized the CMS' methods of rating hospitals, he applauded the organization's efforts to lower health care costs by limiting hospital reimbursements when patients are readmitted to the hospital less than a month after they were discharged.
The new study will be published in this month's issue of the Journal of Hospital Medicine.
For more information about the CMS' methods for rating hospital quality, click here.
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