Adjusting for social risk factors such as poverty, disability and housing instability in the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program could level the playing field for hospitals that serve the most vulnerable patients, according to a study published Friday in Health Services Research. The authors examined claims data for Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries with heart attack, heart failure or pneumonia between December 2012 and November 2015 and found higher readmission rates for individuals with social risk factors. “Adding social risk factors to risk adjustment cut these differences in half,” they said. “Over half of the safety-net hospitals saw their penalty decline; 4-7.5 percent went from having a penalty to having no penalty. These changes translated into a $17 million reduction in penalties to safety-net hospitals.”

Related News Articles

Chairperson's File
Hospitals and health systems recognize that addressing social determinants of health is central to driving value and advancing overall well-being.
Chairperson's File
AHA resources can help care teams — and their patients — move beyond the awkwardness to engage in honest communication that can transform lives.
Blog
AHA staff recently visited two rural hospitals to see and hear firsthand how leaders are engaging in innovative practices to increase accessibility and…
Blog
In this AHA Stat Blog, Priya Bathija, vice president of AHA’s The Value Initiative, shares how screening for social needs can help hospitals and health systems…
Insights and Analysis
Last week’s Aspen Ideas: Health festival reflected many of the changing dynamics in health and health care. Notably, a number of sessions across the four days…
Headline
Aligning for Health voiced support for legislation to improve the collection of data related to the social determinants of health for Medicare and Medicaid…