Hospital readmissions drive up the cost of health care. Each year, Medicare alone spends an estimated $17 billion or more on unplanned hospital readmissions. The Healthcare Cost & Utilization Project (HCUP)'s new national estimates on readmissions by diagnosis and procedure are the most comprehensive to date and show the extent of the problem.
Although not all readmissions are preventable, many could be avoided by improving the quality of care provided during and after a patient’s stay. Doctors, insurers and hospital administrators can use HCUP data to help guide their efforts to reduce readmissions. Patients and their caregivers should be aware of those medical conditions most at risk for unplanned readmission and take steps to reduce the chances of having to return to the hospital.
A downloadable version of this HCUP 30-Day Readmissions Rates to U.S. Hospitals infographic is available at www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/infographics.jsp.