In an article “A revolving door at Mass. Hospitals” published October 11, 2016 by the Boston Globe, staff writer Liz Kowalczyk reported that according to federal data, 17.90% of the 198,000 Massachusetts Medicare patients were readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of discharge. That places Massachusett’s readmission rate as tied for the 5th worst in the nation. The link to the original Boston Globe article can be found here: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/10/11/revolving-door-mass-hospitals/1JqWYNf8n01ZbtrEx3VTBK/story.html
Why Do Readmission Rates Matter?
As reported by Liz Kowalczyk, preventable readmissions within 30 days of discharge is considered one of the driving factors behind the rising medical costs in the United States, costing Medicare alone approximately $17 BILLION annually. Further, preventable readmission can be a sign of poor care (including discharge and follow-up care).
Worst (Highest) Readmission Rates Nationwide
According to the Boston Globe article, Massachusetts was tied with Kentucky for the 5th worst readmission rate in the nation at 17.90%. Four states had worse readmission rates: Michigan (#4 at 18%), D.C. (#3 at 18.5%), West Virginia (#2 at 18.6%), and Maryland (#1 at 18.9%). Other states that placed in the top 10 for the worst (highest) readmission rates include New York (#7 at 17.8%), Florida (#8 at 17.7%), Mississippi (#9 at 17.6%), and New Jersey (#10 at 17.6%).
So if these are the states with the worst (highest) readmission rates, what are the best?
Best (Lowest) Readmission Rates Nationwide
According to federal data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the states with the best (lowest) readmission rates include: Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming (all tied for #42 at 14.2%), Alaska (#45 at 13.7%), South Dakota (#46 at 13.2%), Montana (#47 at 13.1%), Colorado and Hawaii (tied for #48 at 12.9%), Idaho (#50 at 12.2%), and Utah with the best (lowest) readmission rate (#51 at 11.5%).
By: Ingrid A. Halstrom