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New Data Show Results of Risk Adjustment

For the first time, Missouri Hospital Association (MHA) data on hospital readmissions expands on federal methodology by including risk adjustment for sociodemographic status (SDS).

MHA expanded on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ overall risk adjustment methodology by including in its model both patient Medicaid status and the poverty level of where a patient lives. MHA developed a blended clinical and “SDS-enriched” methodology to report readmissions rates and ratios that accounts for patient access to resources that impact health outside of the hospital.

By accounting for these factors, MHA said, 30-day readmissions data will more accurately portray the quality of care a hospital provides. MHA reported that, compared with the standard CMS models, its SDS-enriched models resulted in significantly less variation in the measured quality differences among Missouri hospitals.

In a statement, America’s Essential Hospitals thanked MHA for its leadership on this issue and noted its longtime support of efforts to promote risk adjustment based on sociodemographic status. In particular, the association has worked to advance sociodemographic risk adjustment in the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program through support of the Establishing Beneficiary Equity in the Hospital Readmission Program Act (H.R. 1343 and S. 688).

Contact Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Matt Buechner is the policy and advocacy associate for America's Essential Hospitals.

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