MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Teryl K. Nuckols, MD
Vice Chair, Clinical Research
Director, Division of General Internal Medicine
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Healthcare policymakers have long worried that value-based payment programs unfairly penalize hospitals treating many African-American patients, which could worsen health outcomes for this group.
For example, policy experts have suspected that the Medicare Hospital Readmission Reduction Program unevenly punishes institutions caring for more vulnerable populations, including racial minorities. They’ve also feared that hospitals might be incentivized to not give patients the care they need to avoid readmissions.
The study Investigators wanted to determine whether death rates following discharges increased among African-American and white patients 65 years and older after the Medicare Hospital Readmission Reduction Program started.