This is part of a debate, tied to government reimbursements and quality metrics for hospitals, over whether these institutions should be held responsible if their patients cycle frequently in and out of the hospital.
Advocates for safety-net hospitals say that CMS penalties meant to reduce readmissions unfairly punish them. The CMS has agreed to consider their complaints.
In any event, Bellevue has had some success in reducing readmissions. Among its strategies.
It has implemented such readmissions-prevention initiatives as as Project RED (for Re-Engineered Discharge), developed at Boston University in 2009. This requires care managers to track patients for 90 days after discharge to ensure that they obtain prescriptions or see primary-care doctors.
Bellevue uses a tidy, color-coded intake spreadsheet in its emergency department that lets the department’s chief of service track arriving patients. Besides such obvious details as the patient’s name, vital signs and medications, it alerts doctors and nurses if the patient has been admitted within the past 30 days.
Bellevue also has robust cooperation between its inpatient and outpatient care departments to help reduce readmissions. Indeed, as part of this effort, it built an outpatient clinic physically attached to the hospital.
To read the Modern Healthcare article on this, including data on its readmissions reductions, please hit this link.