News: Hospitals penalized inaccurately under HRRP, JAMA study finds

CDI Strategies - Volume 14, Issue 49

Some facilities that should have been penalized under the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP) weren’t and some that were probably shouldn’t have been, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), which found “a misclassification of condition-specific penalty status for up to 31% of hospitals” for fiscal year 2019.

The percentages of hospitals that should have been penalized by the program, but were not, included:

  • 20.9% for acute myocardial infarction
  • 13.5% for heart failure
  • 13.2% for pneumonia

Alternatively, the percentages of hospitals that were incorrectly penalized included

  • 10.1% for acute myocardial infarction
  • 10.9% for heart failure
  • 12.3% for pneumonia

The findings show that the 30-day risk-standardized readmission rates “resulted in substantial misclassification of penalty status under the HRRP, suggesting that this measure cannot reliably distinguish hospital performance.”

The study notes that these finding hold important implications for CMS value-based programs that use risk-standardized outcomes to evaluate and compare hospital performance.

Editor’s note: The JAMA report can be found here. For more information about readmissions, click here.

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