10 recent stories, studies on reducing readmissions

Last year, 2,225 hospitals had their payments reduced through Oct. 1 this year because of excess readmissions, thanks to the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program established by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Because of those penalties, hospitals across the country have been laser-focused on reducing unnecessary readmissions.

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The following are 10 stories on readmission reduction programs and studies that have been published in Becker's Hospital Review since June.

1. Researchers found that patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, as well as coexisting congestive heart failure, lung cancer, anxiety, depression or osteoporosis are associated with a higher likelihood of early readmission.

2. Allegheny Health Network in Pittsburgh reduced readmission rates to 11.8 percent recently, after implementing a home visit program.

3. For patients with heart failure, lower neighborhood socioeconomic status was strongly associated with six-month all-cause hospital readmissions.

4. The Preventing Avoidable Readmissions Together program, a collaborative statewide effort in South Carolina that involved simple steps like providing clearer medication instructions, helped hospitals reduce readmissions by 15 percent in two years.

5. Gallup's Jeff Burger provided four strategies for reducing hospital readmissions.

6. Holy Spirit Health System in Camp Hill, Pa., started a paramedic house call program to help reduce readmissions.

7. Indiana University Health Saxony Hospital in Fishers' 30-day readmissions rates for hip and knee replacements are at 0.74 percent, thanks in part to a program inspired by the Ritz-Carlton.

8. Chris Watson, COO of cloud-based clinical, billing and business management software solutions provider Brightree, discusses three ways hospitals can build relationships with post-acute care providers and therefore reduce readmissions.

9. Medicare beneficiaries who received navigation services had a 30-day readmission rates 4 percent lower than those who did not, according to results of a pilot program at Lakewood (Ohio) Hospital.

10. Virginia Feldman, MD, president and CEO of Nexus Health Resources, shares seven methods hospitals can use to reduce readmissions.

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