"Outcome of Care Measures" show what happened after patients with certain conditions received hospital care. The mortality rates focus on whether patients died within 30 days of their hospitalization. The rates of readmission focus on whether patients were hospitalized again within 30 days. Death rates and rates of readmission show whether a hospital is doing its best to prevent complications, teach patients at discharge, and ensure patients make a smooth transition to their home or another setting such as a nursing home.
The hospital death rates and rates of readmission are based on people with Medicare who are 65 and older. These rates are calculated using Medicare enrollment and claims records, and a complex statistical procedure. The death rates and rates of readmission are "risk-adjusted", meaning that the calculations take into account how sick patients were when they went in for their initial hospitalization. When the rates are risk-adjusted, it helps make comparisons fair and meaningful.