The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) collects data on the number of Medicare patients receiving treatment for heart attack, heart failure or pneumonia who need to be readmitted to the medical center or who die within 30-days of admission to the medical center.
CMS considers these to be an "outcome of care" measure. They are indicators of who well a hospital is doing at preventing complications, educating patients about their care needs and helping patients make a smooth transition from the medical center to home or another type of care facility. The death and readmission rates collected by CMS are "risk-adjusted" — the calculations done on the numbers take into consideration how sick the patients were when they were first admitted to the hospital.
It should be noted that some readmissions are appropriate and medically necessary. A study highlighted in the July 15, 2010, New England Journal of Medicine shows the need for additional research. The goal regarding readmissions and quality patient care is to assure that patient spends no more time in the hospital than is appropriate and medically necessary for their condition and health status. In each of the areas monitored — heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia care — Cedars-Sinai's readmission rates are statistically no different than the national average.
In terms of 30-day mortality rates, Cedars-Sinai ranks better than the national average for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia care, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and stroke. This puts Cedars-Sinai in a select group that includes only two other hospitals in the nation.