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Published on February 02, 2010

Mercy cited as having some of the lowest readmission rates in the nation

Mercy's expertise sought in research of hospitals with low readmission rates

CEDAR RAPIDS - Mercy's low readmission rates have caught the attention of two national healthcare organizations. The Advisory Board Company and The Commonwealth Fund, two national entities dedicated to improving performance and quality in healthcare, have both asked for Mercy's expertise for research they're conducting on hospitals with low readmission rates. This type of research is significant as Congress considers ways to improve efficiency, quality and reducing readmission rates as part of the national healthcare reform debate.

The Advisory Board Company, a provider of comprehensive healthcare performance improvement services, is seeking to learn about, and then highlight in a case study, the factors, strategies and "best practices" that contribute to Mercy's low readmission rates. The invitation is the result of Mercy's impressive scores, based on data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in three clinical areas: heart attack, heart failure, and pneumonia, as indicated below.

Heart Attack 30-Day Readmission Rate:
National Rate: 19.9%
Mercy Medical Center: 16.6% (# 1 in Iowa)
Hospitals in the nation that performed better than the national rate: 36 out of 4,520

Heart Failure 30-Day Readmission Rate:
National Rate: 24.5%
Mercy Medical Center: 20.6% (# 5 in Iowa)
Hospitals in the nation that performed better than the national rate: 180 out of 4,787

Pneumonia 30-Day Readmission Rate:
National Rate: 18.2%
Mercy Medical Center: 15.2% (# 1 in Iowa)
Hospitals in the nation that performed better than the national rate: 88 out of 4,834

The Advisory Board Company commended Mercy by saying, "We are extremely impressed by your low readmission rates in all three conditions on Hospital Compare." The company also indicated a desire for future discussions with Mercy to discuss these outstanding readmission rates.

Additionally, The Commonwealth Fund, a private health care foundation, is seeking to highlight Mercy as one of the "high performing" hospitals in case studies featured on the Fund's "Why Not the Best?" website ( The organization has prepared reports on hospitals that excel in: (1) overall core measures; (2) patient experience; and (3) specific clinical areas such as surgical care and pneumonia care.


-The Advisory Board Company is the leading provider of comprehensive performance improvement services to the health care and education sectors. Drawing on nearly three decades of experience, The Advisory Board Company serves a membership of more than 2,800 organizations-including preeminent hospitals, health systems and universities-all sharing a charter "above commerce," a commitment to best-practice standards, and an unyielding insistence on continual improvement.

-The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation that aims to promote a high performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for society's most vulnerable, including low-income people, the uninsured, minority Americans, young children, and elderly adults.