According to a new report released by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), many patients die needlessly from heart attacks, heart failure and pneumonia in hospitals. The report finds one of every four heart failure patients and slightly less than one in five heart attack and pneumonia patients land back in the hospital within 30 days. Even more shocking, most patients did not see a doctor from the time of their release from the hospital to the time they are readmitted for care.
The report compares hospital death rates, looking at over a million deaths over a three-year period from 2005 to 2008. Patients can look up by area code the hospitals with the highest death rates in their area from heart attacks, heart failures, and pneumonia.
USA Today covered the report on the front page and CBS did an excellent piece as well. The report demonstrates how widely care can very from hospital-to hospital for all different types of care. Medicare estimates it spends 17 billion a year on all heart and pneumonia patients that keep getting readmitted.