Progress (?) Toward Reducing Pediatric Readmissions
Many children’s hospitals are actively working to reduce readmissions to improve care and avoid financial penalties. We sought to determine if pediatric readmission rates have changed over time. We used data from 66 hospitals in the Inpatient Essentials Database including index hospitalizations from January, 2010 through June, 2016. Seven-day all cause (AC) and potentially preventable readmission (PPR) rates were calculated using 3M PPR software. Total and condition-specific quarterly AC and PPR rates were generated for each hospital and in aggregate. We included 4.52 million hospitalizations across all study years. Readmission rates did not vary over the study period. The median seven-day PPR rate across all quarters was 2.5% (range 2.1%-2.5%); the median seven-day AC rate across all quarters was 5.1% (range 4.3%-5.3%). Readmission rates for individual conditions fluctuated. Despite significant national efforts to reduce pediatric readmissions, both AC and PPR readmission rates have remained unchanged over six years.