Over the past few years, Medicare has fined hospitals if too many patients returned to a hospital within weeks of being released.
The study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that nearly two dozen variables, including many broad socioeconomic factors such as education and income level, explain nearly half of the readmission rates hospitals are judged on.
However, Medicare does not account for socioeconomic factors in its penalty calculations, instead focusing on discharge diagnosis and demographic characteristics, such as age and sex of the patient.
For the fiscal year starting Oct. 1, more than 2,600 hospitals will lose a combined $420 million from Medicare penalties, according to The Washington Post.
Read More at Washingtonpost.com
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