Western Pennsylvania hospitals lag state improvement
Patient readmission rates dropped among Pennsylvania's acute care general hospitals in seven of 13 reportable conditions, according to a report released on Wednesday by the Pennsylvania Cost Containment Council, a Harrisburg-based state agency.
Hospitals reported readmission drops among patients with conditions such as congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which in the past experts have linked to readmissions.
Several hospitals in Western Pennsylvania, however, reported significantly higher than expected readmission rates in some illnesses, according to the report, which looked at adult inpatient discharges for 2012.
UPMC Presbyterian in Oakland, for instance, reported higher than expected readmission rates for patients with kidney and urinary tract infections.
“We applaud all transparency efforts in health care, and continue to focus on reducing hospital readmissions as a top priority,” said Tami Minnier, UPMC's chief quality officer.
Allegheny General Hospital in the North Side reported higher than expected readmission rates among patients with congestive heart failure and infectious pneumonia.
“Readmissions ... are reviewed routinely and exhaustively by all of our hospitals to assess opportunities for reducing them,” said Dan Laurent, spokesman for AGH parent Allegheny Health Network. “We are focused on exploring any and all opportunities to enhance the patient experience, improve quality and reduce the costs of care. Minimizing readmissions is a key component of this strategy.”
The Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council collects discharge data submitted by hospitals. It defines a readmission as a hospitalization that follows a previous hospitalization within 30 days. In determining higher than expected rates, the agency considers the type of patients and their conditions. Overall, the largest drop in readmissions was reported among patients with congestive heart failure, to 24.5 percent in 2012 from 26.9 percent in 2007.
“Lowering readmissions has been a major emphasis of both national reform efforts and for Pennsylvania hospitals, physicians and nurses,” said Joe Martin, the council's executive director.
The report showed a statewide decrease in mortality rates in nine conditions from 2007 through 2012. The sharpest decline was for septicemia, a bacterial infection in the blood. Septicemia accounted for the largest increase — 61 percent — in hospital admissions, to 39,832 in 2012 from 24,642 in 2007. In Western Pennsylvania, hospitals reported significantly higher mortality rates than the rest of the state among patients with chest pain, kidney and urinary tract infections, infectious pneumonia, septicemia and stroke.
“PHC4's latest hospital performance report documents the continuing progress hospitals are making toward reducing mortality rates and readmissions,” said Andy Carter, president and CEO of the Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania.
Luis Fábregas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7998 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Winter weather advisory for Western Pa. in effect until Monday afternoon
- Lure of tuition aid, gifts draw college students to ‘sugar daddy’ sites
- Long-term solution for wastewater disposal eludes shale gas industry
- Homestead struggles to pick up pieces left by devastating fire
- ‘Line is definitely blurry,’ state police say of dating websites and prostitution
- Commander: City police working to improve accountability
- Jan. 31 fundraiser to aid Homestead’s recovery from fire
- Report disparages ex-Montour school superintendent
- Man arrested in massive Homestead fire
- Newsmaker: Jeff Reinbold
- Tribune-Review photojournalist Goldband wins 1st place in national competition