Study: Acute Care for Elders Unit Linked to Lower Readmissions, Cost

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An interdisciplinary team model of care using evidence-based care processes reduces costs and readmissions for older patients, according to a study in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Researchers studied patients aged 70 or older who were hospitalized at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in either the interdisciplinary Acute Care for Elders unit or the multidisciplinary usual care unit in fiscal year 2010.

The average variable direct cost per patient was $2,109 for ACE patients and $2,480 for usual care patients. For patients with one of the 25 most common diagnosis-related groups, the average variable direct cost per patient was $1,693 for the ACE group and $2,138 for the usual care group. The 30-day readmission rate for ACE patients was 7.9 percent compared with 12.8 percent for usual care patients.

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