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Hospital Readmission Rates Falling Among Older Adults Receiving Joint Replacements

Summary of Publication

Joint replacement procedures are becoming increasingly popular among older Americans. This Insight on the Issues from AARP’s Public Policy Institute found that rates of unplanned hospital readmissions following elective hip and knee replacement procedures fell markedly among the 50- to 84-year-old population between 2009 and 2013. These results were primarily driven by substantial reductions in readmissions among the 65- to 84-year-old population. Overall, the rapid reductions in hospital readmission rates among the 65- to 84-year-old age group resulted in rates that are now much more comparable to those found in the 50-to 64-year-old age group. These findings may be due to the Medicare Hospital Readmission Reduction Program, which reduces funding for hospitals with high readmission rates for certain conditions.