To assess the extent to which all‐cause 30‐day readmission rate varies by Medicare program within the same hospitals.
We used conditional logistic regression clustered by hospital and generalized estimating equations to compare the odds of unplanned all‐cause 30‐day readmission between Medicare Fee‐for‐Service (FFS) and Medicare Advantage (MA).
Wisconsin Health Information Organization collects claims data from various payers including private insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid, twice a year.
For 62 of 66 hospitals, hospital‐level readmission rates for MA were lower than those for Medicare FFS. The odds of 30‐day readmission in MA were 0.92 times lower than Medicare FFS within the same hospital (odds ratio, 0.93; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.89‐0.98). The adjusted overall readmission rates of Medicare FFS and MA were 14.9 percent and 11.9 percent, respectively.
These findings provide additional evidence of potential variations in readmission risk by payer and support the need for improved monitoring systems in hospitals that incorporate payer‐specific data. Further research is needed to delineate specific care delivery factors that contribute to differential readmission risk by payer source.