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New CMS Guide Addresses Readmissions Disparities

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a new Guide to Preventing Readmissions among Racially and Ethnically Diverse Medicare Beneficiaries.

The guide, developed in collaboration with the Disparities Solution Center, at Massachusetts General Hospital, and the National Opinion Research Center, at the University of Chicago, an America’s Essential Hospitals member, includes high-level recommendations for preventing readmissions among racial and ethnic minority populations. These vulnerable populations are more likely to be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of discharge for certain chronic conditions, including heart failure, heart attack, and pneumonia.

This guide is part of the CMS Equity Plan for Improving Quality in Medicare and is designed to assist hospital leaders as they identify root causes and solutions for preventing avoidable readmissions by focusing on quality, safety, and care redesign.

America’s Essential Hospitals continues to lead advocacy for risk adjustment based on socioeconomic status for the Medicare Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP). The association supports this work with a growing body of evidence that socioeconomic factors affect health and health care outcomes, and that Medicare incentive programs, such as the HRRP, disproportionately penalize hospitals that care for a high volume of vulnerable patients..

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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