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Contact: Barry D. Buckingham
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Harrisburg, PA – DECEMBER 16, 2021 – A performance report of Pennsylvania hospitals shows significant statewide decreases in in-hospital mortality and readmission rates—a trend that mirrors previous performance reports. Released today by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4), the annual report, known as the Hospital Performance Report, includes hospital-specific mortality and readmission ratings as well as volume of cases and hospital charges for patients discharged from Pennsylvania’s general acute care hospitals from October 1, 2019 through September 30, 2020 (federal fiscal year [FFY] 2020). Statewide trends are also examined.

This year the report excludes the conditions Pneumonia-Aspiration and Pneumonia-Infectious due to limitations in the methods used to account for high-risk patients hospitalized for pneumonia during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, cases with a COVID-19 diagnosis were excluded from the report.

“This report shows statewide declines in mortality and readmission rates for many of the conditions reported. Four conditions saw decreases in both mortality and readmission rates: Stroke, Sepsis, Heart Failure, and Respiratory Failure,” said Barry Buckingham, PHC4’s Executive Director.

Comparing the FFY 2020 results with data from FFY 2015, the report shows significant decreases in statewide in-hospital mortality rates for four of the 13 conditions for which mortality ratings are reported—findings that translate to an estimated 1,205 lives saved in FFY 2020. Readmission rates fell in eleven of the 14 conditions for which readmission rates are reported, suggesting an estimated 2,323 readmissions avoided in these seven treatment areas.

The four conditions showing significant declines in in-hospital mortality from FFY 2015 to FFY 2020 are:

  • Respiratory Failure: 12.3% to 9.3%
  • Sepsis: 10.4% to 9.6%
  • Stroke: 3.6% to 2.9%
  • Heart Failure: 2.6% to 2.4%

None of the conditions studied shows a statistically significant increase in mortality.

The eleven conditions with significant reductions in 30-day readmission rates from FFY 2015 to FFY 2020 are:

  • Kidney and Urinary Tract Infections: 15.8% to 14.0%
  • Respiratory Failure: 24.3% to 22.7%
  • Intestinal Obstruction: 14.7% to 13.3%
  • Abnormal Heartbeat: 13.8% to 12.4%
  • Blood Clot in Lung: 12.6% to 11.3%
  • Heart Attack – Medical Management: 18.5% to 17.2%
  • Kidney Failure – Acute: 20.0% to 18.8%
  • Stroke: 12.1% to 11.1%
  • Diabetes – Medical Management: 19.9% to 19.0%
  • Sepsis: 18.4% to 17.6%
  • Heart Failure: 23.0% to 22.4%

No conditions studied showed a statistically significant increase in the rate of readmission from FFY 2015 to FFY 2020.

The report is available on PHC4’s website at You can also link to it through social media on Facebook and Twitter.

PHC4 is an independent state agency charged with collecting, analyzing and reporting information that can be used to improve the quality and restrain the cost of health care in Pennsylvania.

225 Market Street, Suite 400
Harrisburg, PA 17101

Phone: (717) 232-6787
Fax: (717) 232-3821