advertiser banner advertiser banner advertiser banner
Digital Issues

Home >  News >  January, 2014

Yes, High-Volume Hip and Knee Hospitals Also Have Highest Readmissions

But do the numbers really tell the whole story?

Published: January 28, 2014

Do higher-than-average readmission and complication rates among hospitals performing large numbers of hip and knee replacements suggest below-average performance on the part of those facilities, or is the situation more nuanced than simple numbers can reveal?

In the Philadelphia area, several high-volume and reputable hospitals are defending their performance in light of new Medicare data showing that their readmission and complication rates for joint replacements are higher than the national averages.

For example, at Pennsylvania Hospital, which had an 8.2% readmission rate and a 4.7% complication rate, both higher than average, a hospital official told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the percentages may be misleading because a physician there had been willing to take on especially complicated cases.

Others say the numbers could reflect an abundance of caution, a more economically challenged patient population that finds it tougher to follow post-operative care instructions or simply better record-keeping.

The risk-adjusted Medicare formula is designed to take a large number of pre-existing conditions into account. But James Saucedo, lead author of a Northwestern University study that found that inconsistent record-keeping is often a factor in such data, told the Inquirer that busy urban hospitals may not have time to record all comorbidities. One result, he said, is that "institutions [that] we would expect to be among the best [are] going to look terrible."

However, Lisa Suter, associate director of the Yale University program that developed the Medicare analysis, says the numbers accurately reflect patient populations by "aggregating results over many, many patients at each hospital" and that they give "a very important sense of how sick that hospital's patients are."

Jim Burger


Also in the News...

CMS Announces Outpatient Rates for 2016
Patient Says She Was Bullied into Signing Consent Form
Connecticut Provider Tax Could Force Centers to Close Across State
Insufficient Evidence to Link Nail Polish, Rings to SSIs
Colonoscopy Patient's Cell Phone Records Doctor's Insults
Florida Skin-Cancer Doc Agrees to Pay Feds $4 Million
Can Antibiotics Successfully Treat Appendicitis?

 
Have an account? Please log in:
Email Address:
  Remember my login on this computer

DID YOU SEE THIS?

advertiser banner

Other Articles That May Interest You

The Benefits of "Prehabilitation"

Get the Upper Hand on Orthopedic Pain

5 strategies to manage post-surgical pain in your ortho patients.

ACL Repair's Target Audience