By: Jeffrey Maser  Apr. 12, 2018
Dexur analysts recently examined Medicare inpatient claims data from CMS and found that Centra Southside Community Hospital in Farmville had the lowest average length of stay (LOS) in Virginia for a 30-day episode of care for heart attack discharges at 4.37 days between 2013-2016. This was more than two and a half days lower than the 7.14 day national average as well as the 6.93 day average for Virginia Medicare enrollees. Augusta Health in Fishersville ranked 2nd at 4.92 days, just over half a day behind Centra Southside Community Hospital. These were the only two hospitals in Virginia with a 30-day episode of care average LOS under five days. Riverside Walter Reed Hospital in Gloucester ranked 3rd at 5.62 days while Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville ranked 4th at 5.67 days. Johnston Memorial Hospital in Abingdon and Sentara RMH Medical Center in Harrisonburg tied for 5th at 5.73 days.
Average LOS for a 30-day episode of care with unplanned readmissions is comprised of the index hospital LOS along with any other days spent in the hospital in the first 30 days post-discharge due to an unplanned readmission. An unplanned readmission is defined as a hospital readmission via the emergency department. It must be noted that patients are not always readmitted to the index hospital for subsequent stays. Virginia hospitals were included in the rankings if they accounted for at least 50 DRG-280 (Acute Myocardial Infarction, Discharged Alive With Major Complication or Comorbidity) discharges between January 2013 - December 2016; 40 hospitals met this criteria. Discharges where the patient expired, was transferred, or was discharged against medical advice were excluded.
One of the major contributors to Centra Southside Community Hospital's top ranked average LOS for a 30-day episode of care was their low index hospital average LOS of 4.03 days, which also ranked best in the state among the analyzed facilities. The metric was 1.84 days lower than the 5.87 day average for Virginia Medicare enrollees and 2.01 days lower than the 6.04 day national average. Furthermore, Centra Southside Community Hospital's unplanned readmission rate was under 12.66%*, which means that the hospital's rate was at least 7% lower than both the national and state averages of 19.65% and 19.89%, respectively.
*<11 readmissions - actual rate cannot be disclosed as per CMS privacy guidelines