A study in Journal of Hospital Medicine, hospitalist Daniel J. Brotman, MD, and his colleagues examined nearly 4,500 acute-care hospitals’ hospital-wide readmission rates and compared them with those hospitals’ mortality rates in six areas used by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: heart attack, pneumonia, heart failure, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and coronary artery bypass.
The researchers found that hospitals with the highest rates of readmission were more likely to show better mortality scores in patients treated for heart failure, COPD, and stroke.
Adjusted odds ratios indicated that patients treated at hospitals that had more readmitted patients had a fractionally better chance at survival than patients who were cared for at hospitals with lower readmission rates.
It is difficult to completely put this in a nutshell but it does question the conventional thinking that higher rates of readmissions might indicated lower quality based on increased mortality. This study did not show significantly increased or decreased mortality.
Source: Associations between hospital-wide readmission rates and mortality measures at the hospital level: Are hospital-wide readmissions a measure of quality? – Brotman – 2016 – Journal of Hospital Medicine – Wiley Online Library