May 30—The percentage of Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries who were rehospitalized within 30 days of being discharged from an inpatient stay fell to 18.4 percent in 2012, from an average of 19 percent from 2007 to 2011, according to a study from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

The study, published in Medicare & Medicaid Research Review, found that the drop in rates from 2011 to 2012 was statistically significant, but the underlying causes of the decline are not yet clear and merit further investigation, CMS says. Hospital readmissions are costly and are a common metric for assessing care quality, so both hospitals and purchasers have made reducing rehospitalizations a high priority.

Publication Date: Thursday, May 30, 2013