Redesigning the Health System / Reducing Hospital Readmissions

Reducing Hospital Readmissions2022-02-10T12:00:36-08:00

California’s overall 30-day readmission rate has declined from 14% in 2011 to 13.5% in 2015.1

The rate of unplanned hospital readmissions is an important measure of clinical quality. High rates may indicate concerns with low quality and are associated with high costs.2 Fortunately, there is evidence that hospital readmission rates can be reduced using tested quality improvement methods.3 Typically, these interventions involve system transformation. Coordinating care between in-patient, outpatient, home, and community settings is a key component of high quality health systems.3

Patients’ demographic and economic status, social support structure, and multiple health conditions can increase or decrease the likelihood of being readmitted; though these impacts are not fully understood.

Note that this indicator is not risk-adjusted and differs in some ways from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) measure. Data are categorized by age, sex, race/ethnicity, expected payer source, and county of residence. (See metadata below for further details.)

Indicator Progress

In 2016 (baseline year), 14.5% of hospital discharges resulted in unplanned readmissions within 30 days. The most recent data available show 14.9% (2019). We hope to reach a target of 11.9% or lower by 2022.

Note : Due to the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 in October 2015, comparisons cannot be made between 2015 (or earlier) and 2016 (or later). The status for this indicator is pending until an ICD-10 trend can be established.

More Data about Hospital Readmissions

Hospital Readmissions

Note: The target has changed from the original LGHC 2012 Task Force Report; see footnote on indicator page.



Current Rate




Indicator Highlights

Data Disparities & Trends

Rate of Unplanned Hospital Readmissions Within 30 Days of Discharge, Over Time

Rate of Unplanned Hospital Readmissions Within 30 Days of Discharge, by Demographic Category

Rate of Unplanned Hospital Readmissions Within 30 Days of Discharge, by County


Indicator: 30-Day All Cause Hospital Readmission Rate, California

Description: This provides the statewide number and (unadjusted) rate for all-cause, unplanned, 30-day inpatient readmissions in California hospitals. Methodology for this indicator was modified from the CMS 30-day all-cause readmission measure and includes all adult (18 years and older) patients. Data are categorized by age, sex, race/ethnicity, and expected payer.

Data Limitations: The statewide 30-day readmission rate is not risk-adjusted, and the methodology is not the same as for the CMS 30-day all-cause readmission measure. Please check the attached file for more details.
Data for 2015 are reported for nine months only due to a coding change from ICD-9 to ICD-10. Comparisons across years should be made with caution since 2011-2014 results are based on 12 months of data, while 2015 rates are based on 9 months of data. Comparisons between ICD-9 and ICD-10 should not be made.

Indicator Source: Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, Healthcare Information Division, Healthcare Outcomes Center

Data Collection Methodology:

1. 2015 LGHC Data Report – Readmission Data
2. Kocher RP, Adashi EY. Hospital readmissions and the Affordable Care Act: Paying for coordinated quality care. JAMA. 2011;306(16):1794-1795.
3. Benbassat J, Taragin MI. The effect of clinical interventions on hospital readmissions: A meta-review of published meta-analyses. Israel J. of Health Policy Res. 2013;2(1):1-15.
4. Jack BW, Chetty VK, Anthony D, et al. A reengineered hospital discharge program to decrease re-hospitalization: A randomized trial. Annu Intern Med. 2009;150(3):178.

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