Article

A Requirement to Reduce Readmissions Take Care of the Patient, Not Just the Disease

JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association (Impact Factor: 30.39). 01/2013; 309(4):394-6. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2012.233964
Source: PubMed
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    • "The inclusion of the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP) in the Affordable Care Act represents a movement toward high powered incentives to reduce hospital readmission. This has spurred a concomitant rise in research interest on this topic (Kangovi and Grande, 2011; Joynt and Jha, 2013; Williams, 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: All-cause readmission to inpatient care is of wide policy interest in the United States and a number of other countries (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, in the United Kingdom by the National Centre for Health Outcomes Development, and in Australia by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare). Contemporary policy efforts, including high powered incentives embedded in the current US Hospital Readmission Reduction Program, and the organizationally complex interventions derived in anticipation of this policy, have been touted based on potential cost savings. Strong incentives and resulting interventions may not enjoy the support of a strong theoretical model or the empirical research base that are typical of strong incentive schemes. We examine the historical broad literature on the issue, lay out a 'full' conceptual organizational model of patient transitions as they relate to the hospital, and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of previous and proposed policies. We use this to set out a research and policy agenda on this critical issue rather than attempt to conduct a comprehensive structured literature review. We assert that researchers and policy makers should consider more fundamental societal issues related to health, social support and health literacy if progress is going to be made in reducing readmissions.
    Health Economics Policy and Law 08/2013; 9(2):1-21. DOI:10.1017/S1744133113000340 · 1.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Older patients who undergo mitral valve surgery (MVS) have high 1-year survival rates, but little is known about the experience of survivors. Our objective was to determine trends in 1-year hospital readmission rates and length of stay (LOS) in these individuals. We included 100% of Medicare Fee-for-Service patients ≥65 years of age who underwent MVS between 1999-2010 and survived to 1 year (N = 146,877). We used proportional hazards regression to analyze the post-MVS 1-year readmission rate in each year, mean hospital LOS (after index admission), and readmission rates by subgroups (age, sex, race). The 1-year survival rate among patients undergoing MVS was 81.3%. Among survivors, 49.1% experienced a hospital readmission within 1 year. The post-MVS 1-year readmission rate declined from 1999-2010 (49.5% to 46.9%, P<0.01), and mean hospital LOS decreased from 6.2 to 5.3 (P<0.01). Readmission rates were highest in oldest patients, but declined in all age subgroups (65-74: 47.4% to 44.4%; 75-84: 51.4% to 49.2%, ≥85: 56.4% to 50.0%, all P<0.01). There were declines in women and men (women: 51.7% to 50.8%, P<0.01; men: 46.9% to 43.0%, P<0.01), and in whites and patients of other race, but not in blacks (whites: 49.0% to 46.2%, P<0.01; other: 55.0% to 48.9%, P<0.01; blacks: 58.1% to 59.0%, P = 0.18). Among older adults surviving MVS to 1 year, slightly fewer than half experience a hospital readmission. There has been a modest decline in both the readmission rate and LOS over time, with worse outcomes in women and blacks.
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    ABSTRACT: In 2011, Kaiser Permanente Northwest Region (KPNW) won the Lawrence Patient Safety Award for its innovative work in reducing hospital readmission rates. In 2012, Kaiser Permanente Southern California (KPSC) won the Transfer Projects Lawrence Safety Award for the successful implementation of the KPNW Region's "transitional care" bundle to a Region that was almost 8 times the size of KPNW. The KPSC Transition in Care Program consists of 6 KPNW bundle elements and 2 additional bundle elements added by the KPSC team. The 6 KPNW bundle elements were risk stratification, standardized discharge summary, medication reconciliation, a postdischarge phone call, timely follow-up with a primary care physician, and a special transition phone number on discharge instructions. The 2 additional bundle elements added by KPSC were palliative care consult if indicated and a complex-case conference. KPSC has implemented most of the KPNW and KPSC bundle elements during the first quarter of 2012 for our Medicare risk population at all of our 13 medical centers. Each year, KPSC discharges approximately 40,000 Medicare risk patients. After implementation of bundle elements, KPSC Medicare risk all-cause 30-day Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set readmissions observed-over-expected ratio and readmission rates from December 2010 to November 2012 decreased from approximately 1.0 to 0.80 and 12.8% to 11%, respectively.
    The Permanente journal 01/2013; 17(3):58-63. DOI:10.7812/TPP/12-141
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