FOR THE RECORD

Check CMS website for readmission comparisons

Hospitals will need to get used to the idea of reporting their 30-day readmission results as the new health care reform bill expands on this initiative of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

In addition to published reports of hospital 30-day mortality rates, CMS features 30-day readmissions measures for patients who were originally admitted to the hospital for heart attack, heart failure, and pneumonia.

The information is available to consumers at www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov.

CMS uses a model that is based on claims data and has been validated by clinical data models to assess hospital readmissions and mortality rates. The model takes into account medical care received during the year prior to each patient's hospital admission, as well as the number of admissions at each hospital.

For the period of July, 2005, to June, 2008, CMS reports that 19.9% of patients nationally with acute myocardial infarction were readmitted within 30 days of hospital discharge; for heart failure patients, the national data show a 24.5% 30-day readmission rate, and for pneumonia, the 30-day readmission rate was 18.2%.