Under the Affordable Care Act, hospitals with high levels of preventable readmissions face the potential of losing a portion of their federal payments, which means that reducing these readmissions is of the utmost importance. Recently, the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) posted an article titled “Two Ways Hospitals Can Reduce Avoidable Readmissions,” which reported successful efforts from four hospitals with low 30-day readmission rates, in part, due to collaborating with inpatient and outpatient providers such as home health care providers to provide a continuum of care.
Many hospitals have become revolving doors for patients. Nearly one in five Medicare patients discharged from the hospital is readmitted within 30 days. This translates to approximately 2.6 million seniors at a cost of over $26 billion every year. These potentially preventable readmission rates have drawn national attention, and hospitals now face penalties of reduced Medicare payments for all Medicare discharges if readmission rates for certain conditions are above a particular threshold, and must find ways to stop the revolving door of readmissions. [Read more…]