Reducing 30-day Readmissions, Simply

Karen Minich-Pourshadi, June 25, 2012

Beginning in October, hospitals and health systems will feel the sting of Medicare penalties for high 30-day readmission rates in three disease categories: heart attacks, heart failure, and pneumonia.  If you're waiting for the Supreme Court to change all that with the stroke of a pen, you're likely to be out of luck. The court's impact on those penalties may be limited. 

Whatever the court decides about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, you'll get further in your fiscal planning and save more dollars by implementing a simple, yet effective care coordination program like the one used by McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, Utah.

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Sure, Washington, D.C.  is abuzz with legislators, attorneys, healthcare professionals, and media all clamoring for the Supreme Court's ruling, which is  expected any day now. But I feel certain that none of the likely judicial outcomes will put an end to the need to reduce 30-day readmission rates.

Simply put, we're moving away from fee-for-service and toward fee-for-value regardless of the Supreme Court decision, so hospitals and health systems will need to do more than ever to care for the "whole" patient.
Karen Minich-Pourshadi Karen Minich-Pourshadi is a Senior Editor with HealthLeaders Media. Twitter


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