Noteworthy News

Hospitals, Especially Safety-Net Hospitals, Struggle With Heart Failure Readmissions

For all the emphasis on reducing readmissions to hospitals, providers continue to struggle to prevent readmissions of patients suffering heart failure.
iStock_000005787159XSmallOr so concludes a new study published in the Journal of Cardiac Failure.

According to the study, there has been only a slight reduction in readmissions rates for heart failure patients over the past four years.

In addition, Fierce Healthcare reports that

…2014 research revealed that safety-net hospitals and those with largely low-income patient populations are at particular risk for heart failure readmissions; patients from lower-income neighborhoods, researchers found, were 17 percent more likely to be readmitted within six months of discharge. 

This finding supports the National Association of Urban Hospitals’ long-time contention that the distinct challenges urban safety-net hospitals face in serving their especially low-income, medically challenged communities speak to the need for a risk-adjustment component in Medicare’s hospital readmissions reduction program. NAUH spoke out publicly about this issue in a March to Congress in support of H.R. 1343, the Establishing Beneficiary Equity in the Hospital Readmission Program Act. Go here to see NAUH’s letter to members of Congress urging them to require the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to add risk adjustment to the readmissions reduction program.

To learn more about these findings, see this Fierce Healthcare report.

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