Hawaii had the steepest drop in hospital readmissions in the nation between 2010 and 2015, according to data released this week by the federal government.
This means Hawaii – already among the states with the lowest readmission rates in the nation – made the most progress in ensuring patients got the care they needed during their stay and after leaving the hospital. It also shows that while hospitals around the country lowered the overall readmission rate by 8%, Hawaii hospitals outperformed the national average by achieving a larger 13.4% drop.
“This is a testament to the hard work and dedication of Hawaii’s hospitals and the talented employees committed to improving the care they provide. It also shows what can be done when we work together with each other, and our community partners,” said Healthcare Association of Hawaii President and Chief Executive Officer George Greene.
Hospital readmissions occur when patients need to make an unanticipated return to the hospital for additional care after discharge. Reducing readmissions-and healthcare costs-has been one of the core aims of the Affordable Care Act.
Hawaii was tied for seventh place in having the lowest rate of hospital readmissions in the nation in 2010. The 2015 data show Hawaii is now tied for third place. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Hawaii’s rate of hospital readmissions dropped from 14.9% in 2010, to 12.9% in 2015.
One of the reasons cited for the national improvement in hospital readmissions is the federal government’s Partnership for Patients program. Administered by CMS, the program assists hospitals in tracking and improving their performance.
Hawaii hospitals have participated in Partnership for Patients since 2012. The second round of the program will finish at the end of September, and a third round is expected to be announced by CMS.
In Hawaii, the Healthcare Association of Hawaii coordinates the Partnership for Patients activity via the health engagement network Premier Inc., which is contracted by CMS to assist hospitals in the Partnership for Patients program.
Hawaii ranks higher than any other state in the quality of its nursing facilities. 38 percent of nursing facilities in Hawaii earned a five out of a possible five stars from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for their overall performance in health inspections, nurse staffing, and quality of medical care. This compares to a median of 21 percent for all states. Only three other states had greater than 30 percent of their facilities with five-star ratings.
U.S. News & World Report just released its fifth annual Best Nursing Homes ratings, highlighting the top nursing homes in each state and nearly 100 major metropolitan areas. The ratings cover more than 15,000 nursing homes nationwide. Ratings for Hawaii’s 48 Medicare/Medicaid certified long term care homes are posted online at http://health.usnews.com/best-nursing-homes/area/hi
“What this means for Hawaii’s families is that they’ve got some of the nation’s best options for the care of their loved ones. This validates the collaborative efforts throughout our state to share best practices.” –George W. Greene, Esq, President and CEO
Nursing home ratings come from: 1) Health Inspections, 2) Staffing, and 3) Quality Measures.
A star rating is provided for each of these three sources. Then, these three ratings are combined to calculate an overall rating. This information gives you a “snap shot” of the care individual nursing homes give.
How is Hawaii doing? More national reports that show how Hawaii measures up.