Thursday, April 1, 2010

Not Paying for Readmissions Spurs Improvements in Patient Care

It is estimated that 75% of the Medicare admissions readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of discharge were preventable. In total, the cost of readmissions to Medicare is approximately $17.4 billion annually.

Medicare's decision NOT to pay for preventable/avoidable readmissions to hospitals has gotten attention. Significant work is now being done by hospitals to put better discharge and/or transfer processes into place to better coordinate care, ensure patients have support systems at home and get needed followup services. A good example of how aligning payments with desired outcomes serves as the main "carrot or stick" to get action. And, a good example of how poor quality care drives high cost.

Click here to read the article. The clear connection between aligning payment with expected outcomes is in the last paragrah.

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