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From the JAMA Network
February 3, 2015

Hospital Readmission as a Quality Measure in Surgery

Author Affiliations
  • 1Center for Healthcare Outcomes and Policy, Department of Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
JAMA. 2015;313(5):512-513. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.14179

The debate about whether hospital readmissions should be used to measure quality is escalating. The renewed interest in this topic comes from the recognition that reducing readmissions is a rare example of the elusive goal of simultaneously improving quality and reducing costs. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently gave readmission measures increased importance by implementing substantial financial penalties through the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP). The HRRP began assessing penalties of up to 3% of a hospital’s total Medicare payments for hospitals with higher-than-expected risk-adjusted readmission rates for common medical conditions, acute myocardial infarction, pneumonia, and congestive heart failure.1