Readmissions are a serious problem for many hospitals. A certain subset of patients, in many cases lacking a primary-care physician, may repeatedly visit emergency rooms for follow-up treatment, relapses or difficulty in recovery.
High readmission rates can lead to cost overruns and Medicare penalties, in addition to being far from optimal for those needing care.
Hospitals around the country are experimenting with various ways to reduce readmissions by identifying the main causes of readmission and helping discharged patients avoid these problems.
Preventing Readmissions: Care Transitions Program
Roper St. Francis Healthcare in Charleston, SC has established a Care Transitions Program to help elderly patients manage their medications.
Preventing Readmissions: Case Worker Follow-Ups
Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs has case workers follow up with discharged patients at high risk of heart failure, stroke or pneumonia.
Preventing Readmissions: Follow-Ups With Mobile Apps
The Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City uses a mobile app to follow up with patients post-discharge.