Roughly 16.1 percent of Medicare patients — or about one out of every six patients — were readmitted within 30 days of discharge from a hospital in 2009, a new report from the Dartmouth Atlas Project finds. The readmission rate was up slightly from 2004, when 15.9 percent of patients were readmitted within 30 days.

 

Of six specific conditions the researchers considered, only readmission rates for acute myocardial infarctions declined between 2004-2009, from 19.4 percent to 18.5 percent.

Among the report's other findings:

  • Readmission rates after 30 days also varied regionally, from a low of 11.5 percent in Ogden, Utah, to 18.9 percent in Pontiac, Mich.
  • Approximately 21.2 percent of patients with congestive heart failure were readmitted within 30 days, compared to 12.7 percent of surgery patients.
  • The median rate among the hospital referral regions surveyed for patients who visited a primary care clinician within 14 days of discharge was 44.2 percent.
  • Among the regions surveyed, the median rate for patients having an emergency department visit within 30 days of discharge was 18.9 percent.

Click here to read the full report.