Hospital readmission rates for heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia remain unchanged

Despite the threat of financial penalties and programs designed to reduce readmissions, hospital readmission rates for heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia remain unchanged, according to an article in Kaiser Health News.

According to the article, the data is based on most recent readmission rates available on the Hospital Compare website for dates July 2008 through the end of June 2011. Key findings:

  • 19.7 percent of heart attack patients were readmitted within 30 days of discharge, a drop of only 0.1 percentage point from the previous year’s figures, which were based on the years 2007 through 2010.
  • 24.7 percent of heart failure patients were readmitted, also a 0.1 point decrease.
  • Pneumonia readmissions increased by 0.1 percentage points, to 18.5 percent of all Medicare pneumonia patients.

Medicare officials state that they do expect their efforts to bring positive results. 

(Source: Kaiser Health News, http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org, July 20, 2012)