I have always been a bit nihilistic about reducing readmission rates to hospitals. However, I may have been overly pessimistic. A new study confirms that it is possible to reduce readmission rates by imposing financial incentives. Importantly, this does not seem to have caused an increase in mortality – as might occur if hospitals were biased against re-admitting sick patients in order to avoid a financial penalty. “False null result” (type two error), do I hear you ask? Probably not, since the data are based on nearly seven million admissions. In fact, 30 day mortality rates were slightly lower among hospitals that reduced readmission rates.
— Richard Lilford, CLAHRC WM Director
- Lilford RJ. If Not Preventable Deaths, Then What About Preventable Admissions? NIHR CLAHRC West Midlands News Blog. 6 May 2016.
- Lilford RJ. Unintended Consequences of Pay-For-Performance Based on Readmissions. NIHR CLAHRC West Midlands News Blog. 13 January 2017.
- Joynt KE, & Maddox TM. Readmissions Have Declined, and Mortality Has Not Increased. The Importance of Evaluating Unintended Consequences. JAMA. 2017; 318(3): 243-4.