Mary Washington Hospital has achieved the lowest readmission rate of 71 hospitals ranked in Virginia for Medicare patients who received total hip and total knee replacement surgeries.

The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA) based the ranking on readmission data for December 2013 to November 2016. It is important because hospital readmission after an illness or surgical procedure increases the cost of health care and may be the result of issues with initial delivery of care.

To encourage hospitals to focus on quality and step up their efforts to reduce readmissions, Congress created within the Affordable Care Act the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program. Under this act, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services penalizes hospitals that experience higher-than-expected readmissions for specific clinical conditions such as heart attack, pneumonia, heart failure, total hip and knee replacement, and others.

VHHA’s readmission results are formulated using the state’s inpatient database. This means that all patients and payers are included, rather than Medicare covered patients only, which are the intended primary focus of the HRRP.

“Mary Washington Hospital’s exceptional results in reducing total hip and knee replacement readmissions indicates the staff’s commitment to providing excellent care, expertise, and compassion. We are extremely pleased to be recognized for this important achievement,” Tom Gettinger, MWH’s executive vice president and COO in a news release.

—Staff report

Cathy Jett: 540/374-5407

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