Changes in Medicare’s Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program Affect Poor and Low Poverty Hospitals Differently

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Karen Joynt Maddox, MD, MPHAssistant Professor of MedicineWashington University Brown School of Social Work

Dr. Joynt Maddox

Karen Joynt Maddox, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Washington University Brown School of Social Work 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Medicare’s Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program has been controversial, in part because until 2019 it did not take social risk into account when judging hospitals’ performance. In the 21st Century Cures Act, Congress required that CMS change the program to judge hospitals only against other hospitals in their “peer group” based on the proportion of their patients who are poor. As a result, starting with fiscal year 2019, the HRRP divides hospitals into five peer groups and then assesses performance and assigns penalties.  Continue reading