J Patient Saf. 2021 Jul 21. doi: 10.1097/PTS.0000000000000883. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVES: This study aims to analyze the impact of Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP) on the nationwide optimization efforts of length of stay (LOS) and readmissions in the United States.
METHODS: We use the Nationwide Readmission Database between 2010 and 2016 provided in the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The study focuses on acute myocardial infarction, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure (CHF), pneumonia monitored by the HRRP and 2 conditions, septicemia, and mood disorders that were not monitored by the HRRP but had among the highest readmissions. Patient demographics and readmissions were analyzed based on insurance type, LOS, and Charlson Comorbidity Index.
RESULTS: The readmissions vary by conditions, LOS, and insurance types. Congestive heart failure has the highest readmissions among the 6 analyzed conditions at approximately 25%. The readmission rate of CHF rises to 30% for the Medicaid patients and varies between 30% and 35% by LOS. Patients with CHF with higher Charlson Comorbidity Index demonstrates the highest readmissions among 6 conditions. The patients with longer LOSs had higher readmissions, and Medicare patients have a higher reduction in readmissions in acute myocardial infarction and mood disorders compared with the other forms of payments.
CONCLUSIONS: Our figures show that targeted programs, such as HRRP, may have a positive impact on readmission rates. We, however, observe some graphical evidence that nontargeted conditions could exhibit similar trends. Because of heterogeneity in hospital and patient characteristics, it is pivotal for researcher to consider them in formal analyses.