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A national study completed by investigators at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota recently examined the reasons for excessive patient hospital readmissions. The study examined data from 43 children’s hospitals, and it found that facilities often faced readmission penalties ultimately due to patient hardships. This included lack of transportation to doctor appointments and an inability to afford medications rather than having received poor-quality care.
Several states have issued readmission penalties against children’s hospitals, and payment reform is a hot legislative topic. The authors of this study stated that as long as patient hardships are causing readmissions, it is not fair to penalize facilities for the readmission if the quality of care did not play a role.
These findings were published in JAMA Pediatrics on February 15, 2016.