by Wendy Smith

Health Leaders Magazine published an excellent article in its May issue entitled “Hospitals Thinking Beyond 30-day Readmissions.” The healthcare industry in general is well-aware of the looming government reimbursement penalties for patients readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of discharge. Right now, this penalty is attached to a narrow range of health issues and the majority of healthcare providers are focused on these. A little further from view and still fuzzy is the idea that eventually any readmission will be cause for a reimbursement penalty and a few hospitals are seeing the value of creating programs that reduce readmissions overall, regardless of the ailment or illness. They’re creating a portfolio of answers to reduce readmissions regardless of diagnosis, hiring specialty care coordinators and transition coaches and tracking patients for longer than 30 days and up to 90 because they are seeing financial benefits from doing so. Vulnerable populations especially seem to benefit from specific programs that address issues such as chronic disease, multiple illnesses, illiteracy or poor living conditions, in addition to the reason for the original hospital admission.

The entire article is posted here. TeamHealth Medical Call Center, Patient Engagement

At our call center, we have seen the benefits of an implemented full service discharge / readmission prevention program to address the all-cause readmission penalties our provider partners face. Our triage experience makes us experts in dealing with barriers such as age, language, health information and other in treating vulnerable populations. And as we move forward into the all-cause post discharge programs, we are integrating our years of experience and expertise in reducing readmissions to prevent these penalties for our clients.