Healthcare Insights

Average hospital readmission rate by state

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) run a number of programs that base reimbursement rates on hospital quality measures.

For example, the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP) is a value-based initiative that can adjust a hospital’s reimbursement rate for doctor visits and procedures based on avoiding patient readmissions post-discharge.

The Definitive Healthcare HospitalView product tracks all-cause hospital-wide readmission rates for more than 4,300 U.S. hospitals.

What is the average hospital readmission rate?

The average hospital readmission rate is 15.0%.  Readmissions rates range from 9.9% to 22.5%.

All-cause hospital-wide readmission rate by U.S. state


Fig 1. Data is from the Definitive Healthcare HospitalView product and sourced from results published by CMS. Accessed December 2022.

What state has the highest average hospital readmission rate?

Hospitals in Massachusetts have the highest average readmission rate at nearly 16.0%. Florida, New Jersey, and Washington D.C. hospitals have average readmission rates of 15.6%.

What causes higher hospital readmission rates?

Analyzing additional hospital data for the states with the highest readmission rates gives some insight into possible reasons their hospitals may have higher rates.

The top five states for highest hospital readmissions – Massachusetts, New Jersey, D.C., Florida, and Rhode Island – also have some of the largest hospitals in the U.S. The average bed size for hospitals in these states is 211. In comparison, the average bed size across all U.S. hospitals is 131.

Larger hospitals also have a higher number of annual discharges – 9,234 on average for the top five states and 5,421 for all hospitals. The higher patient volumes translate into higher Medicare patients as well. Massachusetts, New Jersey, Florida, New York, and D.C. are in the top ten for highest Medicare discharges. The older age of Medicare patients means many may have chronic conditions, co-morbidities, or post-acute care needs that increase the chances for readmission.

What state has the lowest average hospital readmission rate?

Utah has an average hospital readmission rate of 14.3%, the lowest of any state. Hawaii and Washington have average readmission rates of 14.4%.

Which states have the most hospitals with high readmission rates?

Analyzing 480 hospitals with readmission rates over 16.0%, the states of Florida, Illinois, New York, and California had the most hospitals with high readmission rates.

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