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The Path to Reduce Readmissions

Hospitals are wrestling with readmission rates, some as high as 25-30%. They’re eager to help patients avoid returning soon after being discharged.

There is also a financial impact. Some estimate Medicare annual readmission costs as high as $17 billion. As Medicare cuts payments for readmissions, hospitals have financial incentives to reduce readmissions.

Strategies to help prevent hospital readmission

How many readmissions are avoidable? No one knows for sure. But improving the discharge process could help.

There are various approaches to solve this problem, according to Steve Blau, senior director of case management and patient logistics at Medstar Good Samaritan Hospital in Maryland. The top two strategies are improving case management and better care transitions management.

In a recent webinar, Blau outlines the components of successful readmission reduction program. He examines specific approaches hospitals are taking – such as focusing on outpatient medicine, emphasizing transitions of care, analyzing risk of inpatients and improving follow-up after discharge.

Standardized data improves results

Blau recounts his experience at Medstar Good Samaritan Hospital and its Post Acute Care Coordination (PACC) efforts. For care coordination team members, having data at their fingertips is critical to the program’s success. He credits Allscripts Care ManagementTMsolutions with helping improve quality of care through standardized patient information.

An overview of the Allscripts Care DirectorTM solution is also part of the webinar. It’s a new, stand-alone solution that can help any type of organization prevent readmissions. Allscripts Care Management products can help automate the discharge planning process, send patients to the right place, provide analytics to measure outcomes, and stay clear of avoidable readmissions with continuous community case management.

“We’re at a time like no other,” said Blau. “The future of healthcare is pointed to care coordination.”

You can listen to a replay of the webinar here.

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