Poverty, community problems at heart of readmissions, researchers say

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

November 16, 2011

A new study found that by Memphis-based Qsource showed that the patients with the most repeat readmissions live in the same ZIP codes in the Nashville area—an area in which hospitals are likely to lose 1% Medicare reimbursement due to high readmissions levels compared to the rest of Tennessee.

The ZIP codes indicate low-income areas where people do not have access to transportation to the hospital and lack funds for medicine. Qsource CEO Dawn FitzGerald told The Tennessean that the results show readmissions are a community—not just hospital—problem, indicating hospitals should not be penalized.

Researchers note that the Medicare formula does not factor in race, income, education, or access to care.

Source: The Tennessean