Readmission Measures

The publicly reported 30-day risk-standardized readmission measures include:

  • Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI)
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Heart Failure (HF)
  • Hospital-Wide All-Cause Unplanned Readmission (HWR)
  • Pneumonia
  • Stroke
  • Total Hip Arthroplasty (THA) and/or Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA)

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) 30-day risk standardized readmission measures assess a broad set of healthcare activities that affect patients’ well-being. Patients who receive high-quality care during their hospitalizations and their transition to the outpatient setting will likely have better outcomes, such as survival, functional ability, and quality of life.

The public reporting of 30-day risk-standardized readmission measures is consistent with the priorities of the Department of Health and Human Services’ National Quality Strategy, which aims to: a) improve health care quality; b) improve the health of the U.S. population; and c) reduce the costs of health care. Public reporting of the CMS 30-day readmission measures fulfills federal mandates in the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) of 2005 requiring the Secretary of Health and Human Services to make outcome and efficiency measures publicly available under the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) Program.

In 2009, CMS began to publicly report on Hospital Compare the performance of hospitals on the 30-day risk-standardized readmission measures for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), heart failure (HF), and pneumonia patients. CMS added the hospital-wide all-cause unplanned readmission (HWR) measure, and the readmission measure for patients undergoing elective primary total hip arthroplasty (THA) and/or total knee arthroplasty (TKA) as part of IQR in 2013. Most recently, CMS introduced the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and stroke readmission measures to hospitals and stakeholders in a national dry run in August 2013, and will begin publicly reporting these measures as part of IQR in December 2014.


CMS contracted with a team of clinical and statistical experts from Yale New Haven Health Services Corporation/Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (YNHHSC/CORE) to develop the 30-day risk standardized readmission measures using a methodology that has been published in peer-reviewed literature. The YNHHSC/CORE team updates the readmission measures annually to ensure the models are performing well, given trends in the underlying data.

The CMS readmission measures adjust for each hospital’s case mix (patient age and comorbidities), so that hospitals that care for older, sicker patients are on a “level playing field” with hospitals serving healthier patients. The HWR measure also adjusts for service mix to account for differences in the types of procedures performed at different hospitals.

Questions and Comments

CMS contracted with Yale New Haven Health Services Corporation/Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (YNHHSC/CORE) to support the implementation of these measures. Please send questions about the 30-day readmission measures to Yale at: cmsreadmissionmeasures@yale.edu. To ensure proper handling of inquiries, please specify the measure(s) and program(s) to which your questions relate. Do NOT submit patient-identifiable information (e.g., Date of Birth, Social Security Number, Health Insurance Claim Number) to this address.

For additional questions about the IQR Program, contact the QualityNet Help Desk at qnetsupport@hcqis.org.

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