Home Care Visits Found Crucial to Reducing Short-Term Readmissions

Transitional care interventions, which aim to improve care transitions from hospital to home, help reduce hospital readmissions 31 to 365 days after discharge, a study in Health Affairs’ latest issue shows. 

But the study’s authors found that only high-intensity interventions — including the need for home care visits — seemed to be effective in reducing short-term readmissions for chronically ill patients. 

“Our findings suggest that to reduce short-term readmissions, transitional care should consist of high-intensity interventions that include care coordination by a nurse, communication between the primary care provider and the hospital and a home visit within three days after discharge,” the authors write.

In conducting their study, the researchers examined if transitional care interventions were associated with a reduction of readmission rates in the short (30 days or less), intermediate (31-180 days) and long terms (181-365 days), and found that the interventions only helped reduce readmissions in the intermediate and long terms. 

They reviewed 26 randomized controlled trials in a variety of countries whose results were published between Jan. 1, 1980 and May 29, 2013.  

Previously, reports have shown that transition coaching has helped reduce hospital readmissions by up to 40%, with a relatively low upfront cost.  

Written by Emily Study

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