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RARE - Reducing Avoidable Readmissions Effectively

Avoidable Readmissions

The goal is to prevent 4,000 avoidable readmissions within 30 days of hospital discharge between July 1, 2011 and December 31, 2012, thereby avoiding unnecessary acute episodes and their associated burdens on patients and families. Achieving this goal would reduce Minnesota's overall hospital readmission rate by 20% by December 31, 2012, as measured by the Minnesota Hospital Association's Potentially Preventable Readmissions (PPR) data.

While many readmissions are necessary, a lot are avoidable. Preventable hospital readmissions place a significant burden on patients and their families. Nearly one in five Medicare patients discharged from Minnesota hospitals is readmitted within 30 days. Although the readmission rate for commercially insured patients is lower than for Medicare patients, the number of preventable readmissions is still significant. We have an opportunity for improvement because 18 states had lower readmission rates than Minnesota.(1)

We know the campaign goals are aggressive, but we believe the challenges facing health care in Minnesota require this statewide concerted effort to help achieve the Triple Aim of improving population health, the patient care experience, and the affordability of care. We believe the goals are attainable if we work together, as regional and national work shows significant improvements are possible by targeting avoidable readmissions.

PPR Data

PPR data is being used for this campaign because it uses one year of all-payer data, portrays only readmissions that might be avoided, shows readmission to the same facility only, uses risk adjustment software from 3M, and can be updated quarterly.

Measurement Work Group Summary and Recommendations. In support of the RARE Campaign, a group of health care stakeholders with measurement interest and expertise provided recommendations on publically reported measures related to reducing avoidable readmissions.

1. S Jencks, M Williams, E Coleman, N Engl J Med 2009; 360:1418-1428 (4/2/09)

Patients and family members
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RARE is a campaign lead by the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement, the Minnesota Hospital Association, and Stratis Health, which represents Lake Superior Quality Innovation Network in Minnesota.