30-day rate of readmission for heart failure

30-day readmission occurs when patients who have had a recent hospital stay need to go back into a hospital again within 30 days of their discharge. The Medicare web site notes, “Patients may have been readmitted back to the same hospital or to a different hospital or acute care facility. They may have been readmitted for the same condition as their recent hospital stay, or for a different reason…. You can see whether the 30-day risk-adjusted rate of readmission for a hospital is lower (better) than the national rate, no different than the national rate, or higher (worse) than the national rate, given how sick patients were when they were admitted to the hospital.”

While some patients have a higher risk for hospital readmission than others, and some patients are readmitted to hospitals within 30 days for reasons entirely unrelated to their first problem, some of these readmissions may be preventable. A lower rate of hospital readmission may indicate that a hospital provides a higher level of patient care.

About this measure

This measure is the percent of patients who were discharged from the hospital after being admitted for heart failure and were readmitted to any hospital for any reason within 30 days after discharge. The measure demonstrates whether the hospital readmission rate is better, worse, or the same as expected for similar patients across the U.S.

These percentages were calculated from Medicare data on patients discharged between July 1, 2008 and June 30, 2011. They don't include people in Medicare Advantage Plans (like an HMO or PPO) or people who don’t have Medicare. Note: Northwestern Memorial Hospital has a rate of readmission for heart failure patients that is higher (worse) than the national rate.

In this case, a lower number is better.  

Most Recent Available Data (Percent)
Northwestern Memorial 29
National Average 25
Performance Trend (Percent)
  2008 2009 2010 2011
Northwestern Memorial 28.1 27.4 29 29
National Average 24.5 24.7 25 25
Source:U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov
Rate of readmission for Heart Failure