Communities with more primary care doctors and more nursing home beds experience fewer avoidable hospital readmissions, according to a new study.

At the same time, communities with more nurse practitioners and more home health agencies experience a high rate of hospital readmissions.

In addition to the significance this may have for the welfare of the residents of individual communities, such a finding also may have implications for Medicare’s hospital readmissions reduction program, which penalizes hospitals that have “too many” readmissions for selected medical problems.  If the availability of certain community resources has a meaningful impact on readmissions it may be necessary to adjust the criteria through which the readmissions reduction program judges hospitals based on access to those resources.

Learn more in the Axios article “More nursing homes, physicians linked to lower hospital readmissions” and the Health Affairs study “Local Supply Of Postdischarge Care Options Tied To Hospital Readmission Rates” on which the article is based.