Hospitals participating in certain voluntary valued-based reforms have reduced their readmissions more than hospitals participating in only the mandatory Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, according to a study reported today in JAMA Internal Medicine. Based on readmissions data for 2,837 hospitals between 2008 and 2015, the study found that hospitals achieving meaningful use under the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records Incentive Programs or participating in Medicare’s accountable care organizations or Bundled Payment for Care Initiative achieved greater reductions in readmissions under the HRRP. Participation in more than one of the three voluntary programs led to additional improvement. Hospitals participating in all three voluntary programs reduced their readmissions by an additional 1.27 percentage points for heart attack, 1.64 percentage points for heart failure and 1.05 percentage points for pneumonia. The authors estimate that hospital participation in the three voluntary programs in 2015 led to 2,377 fewer readmissions, saving Medicare more than $32.7 million.

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