Factors on the community need index
A community need index focuses on the underlying social and economic barriers that could potentially affect the overall health of a community.
Advocates for health providers, especially those in poor communities, say these factors should be included by the CMS when assessing 30-day readmission rates:
Income barriers include the percentage of elderly, children and single parents living in poverty
Cultural barriers include the percentage of non-Caucasian residents and those with limited English proficiency
Educational barriers include the percentage of residents who do not have a high school diploma
Access to insurance focuses on the percentage in the community who are unemployed or uninsured
Housing limitations include, for example, areas where there are more renters than homeowners