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Editorial
February 16, 2011

Minding the Gap Between Efforts to Reduce Readmissions and Disparities

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Duke Clinical Research Institute and Department of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina.

JAMA. 2011;305(7):715-716. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.167

Hospital readmission is common and expensive, and longstanding variations in readmission rates nationwide suggest that the system of transitional care is flawed.13 The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) began publicly reporting hospital readmission rates in 2009, leading hospitals and health care professionals to devote considerable attention and resources to reducing both readmission rates and disparities. The prospect of bundled payments for episodes of care, as described in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, has further intensified this focus. Hospitals large and small have joined national initiatives, such as Hospital to Home, to exchange best practices,4 and they have been inundated with promising but largely unproven solutions for reducing readmission rates.

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