Study: Higher Readmission Rates Don't Mean Lower Mortality Rates for Heart Attack, Pneumonia

Thirty-day readmission rates and mortality rates are not correlated for acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) or pneumonia, and only weakly linked for heart failure, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Researchers examined the relationship between 30-day all-cause, risk-standardized mortality rates and 30-day all-cause, risk-standardized readmission rates for acute myocardial infarction, heart failure and pneumonia. The researchers studied Medicare patients with these diagnoses from July 1, 2005 to June 30, 2008.


The correlation between mortality rates and readmission rates was 0.03 for acute myocardial infarction and 0.002 for pneumonia, indicating no relationship. The correlation for heart failure was -0.17, indicating a negative relationship between mortality and readmission rates. In the study, the mortality rate for heart failure was 11.17 percent and the readmission rate was 24.56 percent.

However, this correlation was weak and only evident within a certain range of hospitals, according to the study.

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