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Readmission Rates Stubborn, Even Among Best Hospitals

Doug Desjardins, November 1, 2013

Shortfalls Among Best-of-the-Best
"It was surprising because many of these hospitals are part of large health systems, considered to be among the best-of-the-best, who signed up for this program," said Leslie Curry, a senior research scientist with Yale University and one of the authors of both studies.

The 10 recommended practices in the H2H program are

  1. Having a quality improvement team dedicated to reducing readmissions for heart failure and AMI patients
  2. Monitoring the percentage of patients with follow-up appointments within seven days of discharge
  3. Monitoring 30-day readmission rates
  4. Providing patients with medication management instructions
  5. Having a pharmacist available to patients for medication management questions upon discharge
  6. Having a pharmacy technician compile a patient's medication history
  7. Providing patients and caregivers with an emergency care plan
  8. Arranging a follow-up appointment for patients before they are discharged
  9. Alerting a patient's primary care physician within 48 hours of their discharge
  10. Contacting patients after discharge to answer any follow-up questions

Most of the shortfalls identified in the 2012 study were in the post-discharge area of care. The study found that only 22.9% of hospitals had partnered with local hospitals to manage patients at a high risk of readmission.

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1 comments on "Readmission Rates Stubborn, Even Among Best Hospitals"


Kerry A Willis (11/4/2013 at 10:43 AM)
When the readmit penalty become significant, the readmit rates will change . Right now its more profitable to be paid for the readmints and suck up the penalty than to change behaviors to control the problem. MOst hospitals have just started their readmit programs and got hit with the 0.5% penalty this year when it becomes 2-4% they will fix the problem rather than devote resources to gaming the admit /observation system that exists currently.