A revolving door at Mass. hospitals

DATE : October 11, 2016

A state analysis of readmissions among all patients, not just those on Medicare, found that rates in Massachusetts barely budged between 2012 and 2014. That could be because providers are focusing too many prevention resources on the wrong patients, or need to use different strategies.

For example, patients with mental illness or substance abuse problems, on top of their underlying medical conditions, are at much higher than average risk of returning to the hospital and account for 60 percent of all readmissions in Massachusetts, according to an August report from the Center for Health Information and Analysis.

Almost 30 percent of patients with heart failure who also suffer from mental illness or addiction were readmitted to the hospital, compared to 19 percent of heart failure patients without behavioral health conditions.

The center publishes readmission rates for individual hospitals on its website at chiamass.gov.

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