Medicare beneficiaries' hospital readmissions are typically measured as a
1) Percentage of Medicare beneficiary hospital discharges, or
2) Rate per 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries residing within the given location
Unfortunately, both of these units are commonly referred to as "the readmission rate" so it is important to note which one is being used for any particular discussion.
The population for all our analyses is limited to Medicare beneficiaries and does not include any other patients. See "Why It Matters" for discussion of why readmissions are considered a problem, and why the measures generally focus on the 30 days following a patient's discharge.
In 2012, Medicare began reducing payments to hospitals for excess rehospitalizations.
During the latest period available (Q4 2015 - Q3 2016), the 30-day rehospitalization rate in Idaho was 23.3 per 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries and 32.9 in Washington, both of which are better than the national average.
Across Washington's 16 defined communities, there are numerous variations in 30-day readmission rates for Medicare beneficiaries of different races/ethnicities.
In half the defined communities, the difference between the races/ethnicities with the lowest and highest rehospitalization rates was greater than the state’s overall readmission rate. The four communities with the biggest disparity between the lowest and highest rehospitalization rates are Skagit (with a difference of 58.8 readmissions per 1,000), Seattle (49.1), Spokane (48.8), and CHOICE (46.4).
Download a printer-friendly set of graphs and tables examining Washington's readmission rates by race/ethnicity.