KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Study: No Link Between Hospital Readmissions And Saving Patient Lives

A Journal of the American Medical Association study released Tuesday has found that higher hospital readmissions don't lead to fewer patient deaths.

Reuters: Hospital Deaths And Readmissions Not Linked: Study
A measure used by Medicare to penalize hospitals for poor performance is not linked to how many patients die after being admitted, suggests a new study. The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on Tuesday, suggests that hospitals can keep the number of patients who come back for more treatment low without having more of them die (Seaman, 2/12).

Kaiser Health News: Higher Hospital Readmissions Aren't Linked To Fewer Deaths, Study Finds
Kaiser Health News staff writer Jordan Rau reports: "Some hospitals with high readmission rates say they're saving lives by bringing patients back at the first hint of trouble. The evidence for this is that a handful of hospitals with high readmission rates also have extremely low death rates among Medicare patients. But a study published Tuesday finds that there's no major link between hospitals with high readmissions and those with low mortality rates" (Rau, 2/12). Read the story.

In other quality news -

Bloomberg: Hospitals In U.S. Cut Infection Rates In 2011, CDC Says
U.S. hospitals reduced some types of deadly and costly infections in 2011, three years after a government initiative to cut hospital-acquired illnesses. Infections stemming from catheters placed in a large vein in the neck, chest or groin to give medication or collect blood declined 41 percent from 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said today in a report (Edney, 2/12).

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