How Highmark BCBS Helps Reduce Hospital Readmissions
Outreach Beyond the Hospital Walls
"[Providers] understand that readmissions is larger than the hospital itself and they have to involve their community," says Babbitt. Her staff works with hospitals to develop the outreach. Hospitals are particularly interested in partnering with skilled nursing facilities. They are sharing data, including the readmissions report care, and helping educate SNF staff about high-risk patients who might be readmitted over and over again.
Almost all of the hospitals are reaching out to patients with a post-discharge telephone call. The purpose is to have a chat with the patients about how they are doing and to pick up any signs that the patient may be in distress. The call may be followed by a visit from home health.
One unexpected side effect of this program has been the buy-in of hospital administrators.
Certainly there is revenue associated with readmissions, but Babbitt says the hospital leaders she speaks to understand that a readmission is not the right thing for the patient. "We're not getting push-back anymore on reducing readmissions. They realize this is something that they absolutely have to do."
Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.
- Reform Puts Vise Grips on Physicians
- Medicare Opt-Out a Viable Physician Strategy
- Look Beyond Nurse-Patient Ratios
- Boston Marathon Bombing Yields Lessons for Hospitals
- Hospital Groups Back NQF Report on Patient Sociodemographics
- NPP Demand Rising Under Value-Based Care Models
- The Flourishing Medical Tourism Business in America
- Physicians as Economic Powerhouses and Tech Laggards
- Providers Lag as Consumers Set Agenda
- How Physicians Can Help Ease Mental Health Provider Shortages