Little Improvement in Collaboration
The study also showed that hospitals made little or no improvement in several key areas. For example, it found that only 77.4% of hospitals provided patients with a full review of their medications and how to take them upon discharge compared to 78% in 2012 and that only 36.6% of hospitals had a process in place to ensure that a patient's primary care physician was notified within 48 hours of their discharge compared to 38% in 2012.
"Collaboration between hospitals and caregivers in the local community is critically important because, often times, people don't have the support outside the hospital to ensure they take their medications as prescribed or make it to a follow-up appointment," said Curry. She added that "with the emergence of ACOs, we may start seeing new models of care that create a more comprehensive approach."
On average, the study estimates that 25% of heart failure patients are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of discharge and nearly 20% of AMI patients return within 30 days, readmissions that cost Medicare an estimated $17 billion in additional healthcare costs each year.