Lisa Bernard-Kuhn reports:
Four Southwest Ohio hospitals have re-admission rates higher than their national peers, new federal data shows. The finding comes as the government continues to push hospitals to improve – by paying them for the quality of their treatment in some situations rather than the number of patients they treat.
University of Cincinnati Medical Center, West Chester Hospital, Mercy Hospital Fairfield and Mercy Hospital Anderson made the list for having higher rates of Medicare patients who returned within a month for unplanned reasons. They were among about 8 percent of hospitals nationwide with poorer than average results, according to new data released Monday.
Overall readmission rates are significant because the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, which advises Congress, has encouraged lawmakers to use this measure when determining financial penalties for hospitals under a key provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. One of the 16 commission members is Willis Gradison, a former Republican congressman from Cincinnati.
Some of the facilities on the list of higher than average re-admission rates are among the most revered in the country, such as the Cleveland Clinic and Duke University Hospital in Durham, N.C.
Other major Ohio hospitals on the list included Ohio State University Hospitals in Columbus and University Hospitals in Cleveland. Major Kentucky hospitals on the list included University of Kentucky Hospital in Lexington and University of Louisville Hospital in Louisville.
Seven percent of American hospitals had lower rates of re-admission than their national peers. But no hospitals in Southwest Ohio, Northern Kentucky or Southeast Indiana made this list, which means that the performance of all the other local hospitals was average.
Officials from UC Health and Mercy could not immediately be reached for comment.