Large-Scale Effort Reduces Readmissions, but CMS Goal “May Be Overambitious”
May 20, 2016 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance
An evaluation of a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)-funded readmission reduction intervention applied to high-risk discharge patients over a two-year period at an urban medical center showed that the intervention resulted in a 9.3% reduction in readmissions but failed to achieve CMS's goal of reducing readmission rates by 20%, according to a study published in the May 2016 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine. The authors evaluated the Greater New Haven Coalition for Safe Transitions and Readmission Reductions (Co-STARR) program, funded by CMS's Community-based Care Transition Program. The Co-STARR program used personalized elements of transitional care, including patient education, medication reconciliation, follow-up telephone calls, and linkage to community resources, in an effort to reduce readmission rates. The researchers measured the 30-day unplanned same-hospital readmission rates for Medicare patients at an urban medical center during a baseline period (May 1, 2011, through April 30, 2012) and an intervention period (October 1, 2012, through May 31, 2014).