The US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program penalizes hospitals with higher-than-expected risk-adjusted 30-day readmission rates (excess readmission ratio [ERR] > 1) after acute myocardial infarction (MI). However, the association of ERR with MI care processes and outcomes are not well established.Objective
To evaluate the association between ERR for MI with in-hospital process of care measures and 1-year clinical outcomes.Design, Setting, and Participants
Observational analysis of hospitalized patients with MI from National Cardiovascular Data Registry/Acute Coronary Treatment and Intervention Outcomes Network Registry–Get With the Guidelines centers subject to the first cycle of the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program between July 1, 2008, and June 30, 2011.Exposures
The ERR for MI (MI-ERR) in 2011.Main Outcomes and Measures
Adherence to process of care measures during index hospitalization in the overall study population and risk of the composite outcome of mortality or all-cause readmission within 1 year of discharge and its individual components among participants with available Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services–linked data.Results
The median ages of patients in the MI-ERR greater than 1 and tertiles 1, 2, and 3 of the MI-ERR greater than 1 groups were 64, 63, 64, and 63 years, respectively. Among 380 hospitals that treated a total of 176 644 patients with MI during the study period, 43% had MI-ERR greater than 1. The proportions of patients of black race, those with heart failure signs at admission, and bleeding complications increased with higher MI-ERR. There was no significant association between adherence to MI performance measures and MI-ERR (adjusted odds ratio, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.81-1.08, per 0.1-unit increase in MI-ERR for overall defect-free care). Among the 51 453 patients with 1-year outcomes data available, higher MI-ERR was associated with higher adjusted risk of the composite outcome and all-cause readmission within 1 year of discharge. This association was largely driven by readmissions early after discharge and was not significant in landmark analyses beginning 30 days after discharge. The MI-ERR was not associated with risk for mortality within 1 year of discharge in the overall and 30-day landmark analyses.Conclusions and Relevance
During the first cycle of the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, participating hospitals’ risk-adjusted 30-day readmission rates following MI were not associated with in-hospital quality of MI care or clinical outcomes occurring after the first 30 days after discharge.