Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Lori Demeter


Recently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) ranked all hospitals based on Medicare readmission rates for heart attacks, heart failure, and pneumonia. CMS offered subsidies to hospitals ranked in the 4th quartile to develop community support services to reduce the problem of potentially preventable readmissions (PPRs). CMS cited 4 of the 5 hospitals in Prince George's County in the 4th quartile. The purpose of this quantitative research study was to investigate the relationship between community support services and the reduction of PPRs in Prince George's County. The Evans and Stoddart field model of health and well-being guided this study with support from Bertalannffy's general systems theory. This study sought to relate community support services to PPRs in Prince George's County in contrast to other Maryland counties. To evaluate relationships between community support services and the reduction of PPAs, secondary data were provided by CMS in conjunction with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin. The data included 26 behavioral community support factors from 53,229 Medicare paid claims in Maryland residents from July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2011. Lack of diabetes screening is a community support factor within quality of care. Using multiple regressions, there was a statistically significant relationship found between diabetic screenings and pneumonia readmission rate. The implication for social change is that reimbursement of key screening recommendations to CMS, local government, and hospitals in Prince George's County may reduce readmission rates, thereby positively affecting patients, improving community health, and decreasing health care costs in Prince George's County.