Hospital readmissions continue to be a national epidemic for hospitals fearing increased penalties from Medicare. While the problem stretches across several variables, targeting specific trends might provide one step toward a possible solution.
Re-hospitalizations appear more prevalent in larger cities than they are in smaller ones, according to an article from the Associated Press.
“Some 18% of nonsurgical patients, the highest rates, are readmitted within a month in the New York City borough of the Bronx. Rates are nearly that high in Detroit, Lexington, Ky. and Worcester, Mass.
Yet the readmission rate in Ogden, Utah, is just 11.4%. Half a dozen other areas—including Salt Lake City, Muskegon, Mich., and Bloomington, Ill.—keep those rates below 13%.
For surgical patients, Bend, Ore., gets readmissions down to 7.6%.”
One reasoning behind more common re-hospitalizations in larger cities, the article suggests, could rely on a wider patient-base, with greater numbers of sicker, poorer patients influencing readmission rates.
Zeroing in on areas with high readmission rates is only one step of the solution required to address such a multi-factorial problem, says the article.
Stressing outpatient care and the number of available hospital beds in an area is also thought to play a big role in determining re-hospitalizations for a specific city.
Written by Jason Oliva