Reg's Blog

Senior and Post-Acute Healthcare News and Topics

Hospital Re-Admissions: Update to an Earlier Post

Last week I wrote about hospitals using “observation stays” as a means of dealing with the potential risk of reimbursement penalties imposed by CMS for certain re-admissions.  The focus of my post was on how the trend of hospitals using observation stays to avoid CMS scrutiny (and penalties) was impacting Medicare admissions at SNFs.  I concluded my post with a few strategies that SNFs could use to deal with this growing phenomenon.

Today while reviewing my always copious amounts of industry e-mails, I ran across a story about a non-profit coalition in Alabama called AQAF that is working on addressing the issue of hospital readmissions.  This group comprised of home health providers, hospitals and SNFs is one of 14 groups contracted with CMS in a pilot program known as “care transitions”.  The objective of the groups is to develop strategies and processes to reduce what CMS considers to be, avoidable hospital re-admissions.

Knowing many of you read (and some commented) on my post regarding observation stays, I thought you may enjoy the story on the Alabama project.  The link to the story is here: http://blog.al.com/living-news/2010/02/project_aims_to_reduce_hospita.html

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March 3, 2010 - Posted by | Policy and Politics - Federal, Skilled Nursing | , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Thanks for the Alabama project story. I am happy to add that Lutheran Social Services of Ohio is successfully using a CQI module to reduce hospital readmissions. They are currently looking to expand use of their disease management tool in collabroation with SNF, Home Care and Hospital colleagues.

    Comment by Paul Rengstorf | March 5, 2010 | Reply

    • Excellent news – thanks. I think more stories, etc. of the nature you provided will be forthcoming. If you have any links you can provide on what is happening in Ohio, I’m happy to add them to an updated post and publicize. I know from some of the hospitals and SNFs I have talked with in the past month or so, they are trying to find ways to work through this issue as I believe they know, the Feds are hot to trot and will utlimately, mandate interventions. See my recent post on Medpac’s Report to Congress for some additional info. on what Medpac is saying regarding hospital readmissions (the core of this issue). Medpac is recommending payment revisions and other regulatory provisions on the hospital, home health and SNF segments as a way to deal with the growing issue of “preventable hospital re-admissions”.

      Again – thanks for the comment – much appreciated.

      Comment by hislop3 | March 5, 2010 | Reply


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