Community Health Workers Combat Readmission

Archives of internal medicine (Impact Factor: 17.33). 11/2012; 172(22):1-2. DOI: 10.1001/2013.jamainternmed.82
Source: PubMed
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Available from: Judith Long, Sep 22, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: About 20% of patients hospitalized for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations are readmitted within 30 days. High 30-day risk-standardized readmission rates after COPD exacerbations will likely place hospitals at risk for financial penalties from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services starting in fiscal year 2015. Factors contributing to hospital readmissions include healthcare quality, access to care, coordination of care between hospital and ambulatory settings, and factors linked to socioeconomic resources (e.g., social support, stable housing, transportation, and food). These concerns are exacerbated at minority-serving institutions, which provide a disproportionate share of care to patients with low socioeconomic resources. Solutions tailored to the needs of minority-serving institutions are urgently needed. We recommend research that will provide the evidence base for strategies to reduce readmissions at minority-serving institutions. Promising innovative approaches include using a nontraditional healthcare workforce, such as community health workers and peer-coaches, and telemedicine. These strategies have been successfully used in other conditions and need to be studied in patients with COPD.
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