Wall Street Journal: The road to fewer re-admissions

Accreditation Connection, July 1, 2011

One in every ten dollars spent on healthcare goes toward preventable readmissions, according to a report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). But what is being done to prevent hospital re-admissions in a day and age when hospital stays are shorter and re-admissions add an estimated $30 billion a year to the cost of healthcare? The Wall Street Journal recently reported on just what is being done to improve these numbers.

For example, the report states, there is Project RED, a discharge planning program developed by Boston University that helped reduce readmission rates to the Boston University Medical Center by 30% in 2008. The program uses a “virtual discharge advocate” to explain home care to outgoing patients. The government is funding an effort to make Project RED more commonplace in hospitals.

All of this follows closely on the heels of the April announcement that Medicare will be dolling out $500 million in grants to organizations that help hospitals shrink readmission rates.

To read the complete WSJ article, click here.

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