Amedisys Responds to Wall Street Journal on Hospital Readmissions Problem

An article posted last week by the Wall Street Journal reported that the steps to reducing hospital readmission rates is “without an easy fix.”

Detailing recent studies linking readmission rates to poor post-care coordination, the article caught the attention of Amedisys’ Chief Medical Officer Michael Fleming, MD, FAAFP.

Because the nation’s healthcare needs are changing, Fleming urges for a collaboration between hospitals and post-acute care providers since the current healthcare system is not designed to meet such needs.

Recent studies revealing a number of patients readmitted within 30 days after discharge has caught the attention of the healthcare community.

Medicare has penalized hospitals with higher-than-expected readmission rates, often by cutting reimbursements by as much as 1%.

Amedisys proposes several recommendations for hospitals to reduce avoidable readmissions including visits from a registered nurse within 24 hours of hospital discharge; real-time information exchange of medical records across the care continuum; medication therapy management; and pre-determined transfer and care plan protocols.

“We at Amedisys believe strongly that collaboration with post-acute care partners including implementation of effective care transitions of patients from acute care settings back home can help patients manage post-hospital syndrome as well as the on-going management of their condition, especially if it involves a chronic disease,” he stated. 

Written by Jason Oliva

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