Has Public Reporting of Hospital Readmission Rates Affected Patient Outcomes? Analysis of Medicare Claims Data

Adam D. DeVore, Bradley G. Hammill, N. Chantelle Hardy, Zubin J. Eapen, Eric D. Peterson, Adrian F. Hernandez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Background In 2009, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) began publicly reporting 30-day hospital readmission rates for patients discharged with acute myocardial infarction (MI), heart failure (HF), or pneumonia. Objectives This study assessed trends of 30-day readmission rates and post-discharge care since the implementation of CMS public reporting. Methods We analyzed Medicare claims data from 2006 to 2012 for patients discharged after a hospitalization for MI, HF, or pneumonia. For each diagnosis, we estimated trends in 30-day all-cause readmissions and post-discharge care (emergency department visits and observation stays) by using hospitalization-level regression models. We modeled adjusted trends before and after the implementation of public reporting. To assess for a change in trend, we tested the difference between the slope before implementation and the slope after implementation. Results We analyzed 37,829 hospitalizations for MI, 100,189 for HF, and 79,076 for pneumonia from >4,100 hospitals. When considering only recent trends (i.e., since 2009), we found improvements in adjusted readmission rates for MI (-2.3%), HF (-1.8%), and pneumonia (-2.0%), but when comparing the trend before public reporting with the trend after reporting, there was no difference for MI (p = 0.72), HF (p = 0.19), or pneumonia (p = 0.21). There were no changes in trends for 30-day post-discharge care for MI or pneumonia; however, the trend decreased for HF emergency department visits from 2.3% to -0.8% (p = 0.007) and for observation stays from 15.1% to 4.1% (p = 0.04). Conclusions The release of the CMS public reporting of hospital readmission rates was not associated with any measurable change in 30-day readmission trends for MI, HF, or pneumonia, but it was associated with less hospital-based acute care for HF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)963-972
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
  • heart failure
  • myocardial infarction
  • quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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