Taking Care with Care Transitions Can Reduce Rehospitalizations

Monday, April 6th, 2009
This post was written by Melanie Matthews

About a third of Medicare beneficiaries who are hospitalized wind up back in the hospital within 30 days, a phenomenon that costs Medicare about $17.4 billion each year, according to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine and featured in this week’s Healthcare Business Weekly Update. The researchers recommend more attention to transitions in care from one healthcare site to another, such as during discharge from the hospital. To quote from the study: “From a system perspective, a safe transition from a hospital to the community or a nursing home requires care that centers on the patient and transcends organizational boundaries. Our purpose in this report has been to strengthen the empirical foundation for designing and providing such care.”

Planning a patient’s care transitions and closing the gaps in care from one healthcare setting to another can significantly affect health outcomes, ER utilization, cost to patients, providers and insurers and burdens on caregivers and family members. Take the new HIN survey on managing care transitions across sites and receive an e-summary of the results once the survey is completed. The survey will identify targeted populations, components of care transition programs, roles of care transition teams, benefits and challenges of care transition programs and more.

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