Smith Center for Outcomes Research in Cardiology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Francesca Dominici, PhD, Senior Associate Dean of Research at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, discuss their findings from the study. my websiteArticle ID: 666947 Available for logged-in reporters only CITATIONS P01 CA 134294; R01 GM111339; R01 ES024332; K23 HL 118138-01; Annals of Internal Medicine CHANNELS + Show More Newswise BOSTON The Affordable Care Act (ACA) instituted financial penalties against hospitals with high rates of readmissions for Medicare patients with certain health conditions. A new analysis led by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Massachusetts General Hospital has found that the penalties levied under the laws Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program were associated with reduced readmissions rates and that the poorest performing hospitals achieved the greatest reductions. The research appears online in The Annals of Internal Medicine on December 27, 2016. The Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program was enacted into law in 2010 and implemented in 2012 in response to the high numbers of patients who were readmitted within 30 days of their initial discharge from the hospital after treatment for several common conditions including heart failure, pneumonia and acute myocardial infarction (heart attack). While some Thank You readmissions may be unavoidable, there was evidence of wide variation in hospitals readmission rates before the ACA, suggesting that patients ta admitted to certain hospitals were more likely to experience readmissions compared to other hospitals. Hospital readmissions represent a significant portion of potentially preventable medical expenditures, and they can take a physical and emotional toll on patients and their families, said co-senior author Robert W. Yeh, MD, MBA, Director of the Smith Center for Outcomes Research in Cardiology at BIDMC and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. The Affordable Care Act sought to introduce financial incentives to motivate hospitals, especially the poorest performing ones, to reduce their readmission rates, and only the data could tell us if and how well it worked. We know that the national hospital readmissions rate has been declining since passage of the Affordable Care Act, and our team wanted to assess whether this improvement was driven by the best-performing hospitals alone, or if all groups improved, said first author Jason H.
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