CMS: Hospital Readmissions Down to 17.8%

Yesterday, CMS said President Barack Obama's 2010 healthcare law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has contributed to a significant drop in hospital readmissions for Medicare patients.

Jonathan Blum, deputy administrator director of CMS, released the new figures at a Senate Finance Committee hearing yesterday, saying the law has already made "significant progress" in improving the U.S. health system.

Hospital readmissions for Medicare patients have declined by more than 1 percent in the short time the law has been active. CMS said the 30-day, all-cause readmission rate dropped from 19 percent over the past five years to 17.8 percent, as of November 2012 — or roughly 70,000 fewer readmissions in 2012.

CMS also cited its most recent national healthcare expenditures report, which said health spending grew only 3.9 percent in 2011 — the third straight year of historically slow growth. Total expenditures hit $2.7 trillion, but Medicare spending per beneficiary only grew 0.4 percent.

CMS credited the figures to several measures of the PPACA, including the Readmission Reduction Program, the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program and other initiatives that have spurred the development of accountable care organizations and shared-savings models.

More Articles on Hospital Readmissions:

Study: Medicare, Medicaid Patients More Likely to Have "Bounce-Back" Admissions After ED Discharge
Study: All-Cause Readmissions Yield Artificially High Rates
Why Improving Communication May Be the Key to Reducing Readmissions

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