Home Health & Hospice

Hospitals Prefer Agencies That Demonstrate Lower Readmission Rates

Homecare Insider, May 28, 2012

There are many reasons to reduce hospital readmissions. Here is another one to add to the list.

Hospitals have a financial incentive to avoid preventable re¬admissions. The Hospital Readmission Reduction Act, effective in October 2012, will penalize hospitals with avoidable readmissions higher than the national average.

Initially, this penalty will cut 1 percent of a hospital’s Medicare reimbursement. Con¬sidering most hospitals operate on margins of 2-3 percent, this is a significant penalty. Homecare agencies have traditionally been viewed as low-cost care providers for pa¬tients transitioning home after hospital discharge. However, this low-cost option becomes more expensive when patients end up hospitalized through avoidable readmissions. In fact, some homecare agencies have hospital readmission rates within 30 days of discharge as high as 30 percent.

To avoid readmissions and become a preferred partner, it is important to know how post-acute services are financed, where patients are at risk, and how to blend services and payers to optimize outcomes.

Need more information on how to reduce hospital readmissions at your agency? Check out Beacon Health’s book, Ending Hospital Readmissions: A Blueprint for Homecare Providers, today!