Doctor: High Readmissions May Indicate Higher-Quality Care

A higher occurrence of readmissions after index admissions for heart failure was associated with lower risk-adjusted 30-day mortality. Our findings suggest that readmissions could be ‘adversely’ affected by a competing risk of death — a patient who dies during the index episode of care can never be readmitted. Hence, if a hospital has a lower mortality rate, then a greater proportion of its discharged patients are eligible for readmission. As such, to some extent, a higher readmission rate may be a consequence of successful care.

Read the doctor’s full letter to the New England Journal of Medicine.

HT to Jason Shafrin.

Comments (4)

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  1. Ken says:

    Interesting observation. This is why you can’t rely on robotic oversight by people who are slaves to statistics and don’t know what is really going on.

  2. Joe S. says:

    The more people you kill, the better your score is.

  3. Devon Herrick says:

    This is an interesting point. If a hospital with a lower readmission rate has a higher mortality rate, there is a good chance it is not providing the care that is needed.

  4. Linda Gorman says:

    This may be a stupid question, but were the people doing this stuck with data that rendered them unable to separate people who died in hospital from those who were discharged alive and then readmitted or not? If so, how helpful is that?