Hospital Readmissions Not Linked to Mortality for Medicare Patients: Study

Despite the importance placed on hospital readmissions for older patients and the efforts to prevent recurring hospital stays for those receiving care under Medicare, there is little connection between the rate of readmissions and mortality of those patients, the Journal of the American Medical Association writes. 

Based on a study of nearly 5,000 hospitals, researchers studied the relationship between readmissions for Medicare beneficiaries discharged with several conditions and the associated mortality fates, finding little correlation. 

Patients who left the hospital with acute myocardial infarction, heart failure or pheumonia diagnoses and we readmitted under those conditions were not more or less likely to pass away due to those conditions than those who were not readmitted, the study found. There was a weak association for those admitted with heart failure, the research shows. 


“I feel we’ve dispelled the notion that your performance in mortality will dictate your performance in readmission,” said Dr. Harlan Krumholz of Yale University School of Medicine, the lead author of the study, reported in Kaiser Health News. “This result says they appear to be measuring different things, they’re not strongly related to each other and you can clearly do well on both.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker