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Readmission rate for hip or knee replacement surgery

Why is this measure important?

30-Day readmission occurs when patients who have had a recent hospital stay need to go back into a hospital again within 30 days of their discharge.

The Medicare web site notes, “Patients may have been readmitted back to the same hospital or to a different hospital or acute care facility. They may have been readmitted for the same condition as their recent hospital stay, or for a different reason…. You can see whether the 30-day risk-adjusted rate of readmission for a hospital is lower (better) than the national rate, no different than the national rate, or higher (worse) than the national rate, given how sick patients were when they were admitted to the hospital.”

While some patients have higher risks than others, and some patients are readmitted to hospitals within 30 days for reasons unrelated to their first problem, some of these readmissions may be preventable. A lower rate may indicate that a hospital provides a higher level of patient care.

What does this measure show?

This measure evaluates the percentage of patients who were discharged from the hospital after being admitted for elective hip or knee replacement surgery and were readmitted to any hospital for any reason in the next 30 days.

In this case, a lower number is better.