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$500M in Readmission Prevention Funds to Bypass Hospitals

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, October 13, 2011

"It might be a hard message (for a hospital executive or discharge planning team) to hear. You're telling me, a coach, a personal trainer, is going to be involved in my hospital's discharge process? That's a radical concept. And it's further underscored by the fact that these CBOs usually have no track record, no history of providing services in direct partnership with hospitals."

CMS spokeswoman Griffith Cohen clarified the eligibility requirements: "An eligible CBO can partner with any acute care hospitals in its community and is not limited to those on the file," she wrote. But CMS will give "some preference to applications that include at least one hospital from the high readmissions" list.

"Our preference is for a model with one CBO working with multiple acute care hospitals in a community and we will only accept a partnership of two (one CBO and one acute care hospital) in a rural area where there are no other hospitals to include in the partnership," she said.

It's hard to know whether meaningful programs will get off the ground if the money doesn't flow through hospitals to do it. But this effort should definitely be given the chance. But hospitals, alone, haven't been successful in the past. The fact of the matter is, Brock is right. What drives people back to the hospital is often not medical. And these non-medical programs might have a chance to fix that.

Maybe it will, as Hillary Clinton memorably said, take a village.

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Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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1 comments on "$500M in Readmission Prevention Funds to Bypass Hospitals"


logan (10/18/2011 at 9:26 AM)
It's not entirely true that hospitals will not get any money. It is just that the money will flow through the CBO to other partners. So for excample, if a hospital is implementing project RED in addition to a coaching model, then the hospital can get a portion of the funding towards implementation of RED. It just has to flow through the CBO.