Patients who have cancer surgery at safety-net hospitals are more likely to require readmission to the hospital than similar patients at other hospitals, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Managed Care.

A review of more than 110,000 cases in California found that 30-day and 90-day readmission rates were noticeably higher for patients at safety-net hospitals and that the patients those hospitals served were more likely to be insured by Medicaid, more likely to live in low-income neighborhoods, and more likely to be admitted to the hospital for their procedure through the emergency room.

american journal of managed careOne of the study’s authors explained that

Different hospitals have different patient mixes, and if that is not factored in, HRRP [hospital readmissions reduction program] reductions in payment may further marginalize financially vulnerable hospitals.

To learn more about the special challenges safety-net hospitals face because of the patients they serve and the latest evidence of how Medicare’s hospital readmission reduction program treats urban safety-net hospitals unfairly – a position NAUH has long espoused and advocated the introduction of socio-economic risk adjustment of the program to address – see this article in the American Journal of Managed Care.