Paying more for favorable outcomes and less for avoidable complications is a promising approach for improving the American health care system. In this regard, avoidable hospital readmissions have received a lot of attention. Several studies have shown that good care coordination between the inpatient and outpatient settings can reduce avoidable readmissions. However, as explained by Berkowitz and Anderson, there are problems with this indicator; in particular, some readmissions are planned (eg, staged procedures, chemotherapy cycles). We thought their suggestion that hospitals be allowed to prespecify patients who would be needed to be readmitted (along with reason and date) was a practical solution.
Katz MH. Maintaining Planned Readmissions. Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(3):270. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.607