The three hospitals making up Cottage Health System outperformed most hospitals in the region and nation when it came to readmitting patients discharged for heart attack, heart failure, and pneumonia, the conditions studied by Medicare examiners when gauging a hospital’s effectiveness. Regionally, 20 percent of all patients discharged in Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties are readmitted after 30 days for the same ailment. By contrast, Cottage’s Santa Barbara facility posted a 14.5 percent readmission rate, its Goleta branch a 6.9 percent rate, and its Santa Ynez facility 8.7 percent. Hospital administrators credited their emphasis on discharge planning and patient follow-up, and shorter lengths of stay and lower infection rates.


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