Case Management

Sneak peek: Obesity and readmission a growing problem

Case Management Weekly, August 8, 2012

More than one-third of Americans are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

These individuals typically have a higher risk of numerous health conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and certain types of cancer, which can all lead to higher rates of complications and readmissions. 

Obesity isn't often the direct cause of readmissions, but it is an underlying factor, says Catherine M. Mullahy, RN, president of Mullahy & Associates, LLC, in Huntington, N.Y. With this in mind, case managers should focus on obesity and try to improve outcomes and prevent readmissions and ED visits, she says. 

Case managers can take steps to help patients with weight management—strategies that might eventually help prevent readmissions for obesity-related conditions. Note patients' weight, height, and BMI upon admission.  Any risk factors associated with obesity should serve as a red flag and alert case managers to look for other potential readmission risks, says Mullahy. 

Editor’s note: This article is adapted from an article in the August Case Management Monthly published by HCPro Inc.

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