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OH hospitals redesigning patient care to reduce readmissions

The Plain Dealer, July 6, 2011

University Hospitals in Cleveland, like health systems nationwide, is searching for ways to prevent patients -- especially those who have been hospitalized because of heart failure, pneumonia or a heart attack -- from being readmitted into their full-time care. University Hospitals and other area health systems are providing follow-up visits, as well as phone calls and other services to patients just released from their care, in an effort to keep former patients healthy and prevent them from returning to hospital's bricks and mortar facilities. If hospitals don't stop patients from being readmitted, they will pay: Starting in October 2012, Medicare will begin withholding payments to those that have higher-than-expected 30-day readmission rates for patients suffering from pneumonia, heart attack or heart failure.