Readmission rate poor indicator of hospital quality, study finds

Although an increased emphasis is placed on hospital readmission rates, a new study in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons suggests this metric is not an adequate indicator of a hospital's overall performance.

Researchers analyzed the association between 30-day readmissions and 30-day mortality for surgical procedures in California from 1995 to 2009. Overall, they analyzed nearly 1.1 million patients and 300 hospitals.

The overall 30-day mortality rate was 3.79 percent and the 30-day readmission rate was 12.69 percent.

Researchers determined 85 percent of hospitals did not show a correlation between readmission and mortality rates.

"Hospital readmission rate alone is a limited measure of quality given the poor correlation between hospital readmission and mortality rates," researchers concluded.

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