Study: Post-Discharge Phone Calls Reduce Hospital Readmissions

Post-discharge phone calls by a case manager to certain high-risk patients were associated with fewer readmissions, according to a study in the American Journal of Managed Care.

In the intervention group of the study, patients at high risk for readmission received a phone call from a case manager within 24 hours of discharge. High-risk patients were defined as patients with a major diagnosis of gastrointestinal, heart or lower respiratory conditions at initial discharge and a length of stay of at least three days.


Calls were made in descending risk order and addressed post-discharge understanding of medication, post-discharge care management orders and scheduling of follow-up visits.

In the control group, high-risk patients received phone calls 48 hours after discharge, and calls were not ordered by patients' level of risk.

The intent-to-treat 60-day readmission rate for the treatment group was 7.4 percent compared with 9.6 percent for the control group, which represents a 22 percent "relative reduction in all-cause readmissions," according to the study. The intervention group had more physician visits and prescription drug fills after discharge, which may account for the reduced readmissions, according to the study.

More Articles on Hospital Readmissions:

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