Raj N. Manickam, MS; Stavros G. Memtsoudis, MD, PhD; Yi Mu, PhD; Jeehyoung Kim, MD; Abhijit V. Kshirsagar, MD, MPH; and Heejung Bang, PhD
Excess Readmission-Based Penalty: Is Arthroplasty Different From the Other Outcomes?
Whether factors not under a hospital’s control affect readmissions remains intensely debated in the context of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Hospital Readmission Reduction Program. This study aimed to evaluate the potential effects of poverty, race, and hospital volume on excess readmissions, with >3000 hospitals participating in ‘‘Hospital Compare.’’ Correlations between excess readmission ratios for five eligible outcomes (including hip and knee arthroplasty) were assessed with the three area and hospital-level factors: poverty, race (percent of black population), and hospital volume (number of discharges). Correlation coefficients of the ratios with race were approximately r = 0.2, consistently larger than those with poverty (r = 0–0.1), and those with volume were r = 0 to –0.5. Hip and knee arthroplasty had unique findings: null correlation with poverty (r ≈ 0), largest variability, and strong monotonicity with volume (r ≈ –0.5). The percent of Hispanic population showed negligible correlations in secondary analysis. Penalty assessment and hospital profiling should consider areas with high percentages of black population and a small volume of hospitals and providers of hip and knee surgery. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 27(4):286–293, 2018)
Key words: black, CMS, hip, Hospital Readmission Reduction Program, knee