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VOLUME 53 | NUMBER 3 | JUNE 2018


Further Evidence on the SystemWide Effects of the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program

Objective: To investigate the potential spillover effects of the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP) on readmissions for nontargeted conditions and patient populations. We examine HRRP effects on nontargeted conditions separately and on nonMedicare populations in Florida and California.

Data Sources: From 2007–2013, 100 percent Medicare inpatient claims data, 2007–2013 State Inpatient Database (SID) for Florida, and 2007–2011 SID for California.

Study Design: We conducted an interrupted time series analysis to estimate the change in 30day allcause unplanned readmission trends after the start of HRRP using logistic regression.

Principal Findings: Hospitals with the largest reductions in targeted Medicare readmissions experienced higher reductions in nontargeted Medicare readmissions. Among nontargeted conditions, reductions were higher for neurology and surgery conditions than for the cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory conditions, which are clinically similar to the targeted conditions. For nonMedicare patients, readmission trends for targeted conditions in Florida and California did not change after HRRP.

Conclusions: Our findings are consistent with positive spillover benefits associated with HRRP. The extent of these benefits, however, varies across condition and patient groups. The observed patterns suggest a complex response, including a role of nonfinancial factors, in driving lower readmissions.

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