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Readmission penalties on hospitals hit a new high in 2016, increasing by a fifth over 2015 numbers to $528 million. Yet, according to data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the 30-day readmission rate is on the decline. Since the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP) began in 2010, preventable readmissions have dropped by 8% nationally.1 So why will hospitals lose out on more than half a billion dollars in CMS reimbursements next year? Changes in how the rehospitalization rate is calculated influenced the jump in penalties. But that is not the only factor influencing 30-day readmissions. Patient engagement efforts often fall short, too.
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