There is little variation in risk-adjusted hospital readmission rates after colorectal surgery, according to a study published in JAMA Surgery.
Donald J. Lucas, M.D., M.P.H., from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues examined the variability in risk-adjusted readmission rates after colorectal surgery. Observational data were collected from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare linked database for 44,822 patients who underwent colorectal resection for cancer at 1,401 U.S. hospitals.
The researchers found that the 30-day readmission rate was 12.3 percent overall. There was marked variation in raw readmission rates among hospitals that performed at least five operations annually, with a range of 0 to 41.2 percent.
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No significant variability was found in readmission rates among hospitals after adjustment for patient characteristics, comorbidities, and operation types, with a range of 11.3 to 13.2 percent. At every hospital, the 95 percent confidence interval for hospital-specific readmission overlapped the overall mean.
“The use of readmission rates as a high-stakes quality measure for payment adjustment or public reporting across surgical specialties should proceed cautiously and must include appropriate risk adjustment,” the authors write.