February 12, 2019
How Communication Can Cut Costs

Readmissions are dangerous to patients (and our pockets)

Experts say provider exchange helps reduce risk

For years, long-term care facilities have tried to curb readmission rates and avoid the dangerous back-and-forth between hospital and nursing home. First and foremost, the round-trip journey is proven to be hazardous, as patients are more vulnerable to falls, infection, mismanaged medication, as well as mental anguish.

Second, it’s no secret that hospital readmissions are a major expense. When you combine all public and private insurances, the transition costs Americans hundreds of millions of dollars each year. CMS’s value-based purchasing program also means low-performing facilities will be penalized. Sadly, so many cases are completely preventable.

 

The Readmission Crisis Stats by The Wellness Network, Concordance and Modern Healthcare Stats by McKnight’s Long-Term Care News Change through exchange Strategies for better readmission rates cover a wide range of approaches. In the past, facilities have bettered their numbers by increasing staff, correcting claims data for accuracy, and by empowering families in the decision-making process. Now, researchers say the most effective practice happens not in person—but in the cloud. A recent Florida study suggests that unplanned 30-day readmission rates improve when facilities participate in Health Information Exchange (HIE). Maintaining electronic health records boosts care quality by enhancing communication among caregivers, especially since most discharged patients end up in a facility of some kind. Time to upgrade When hospitals and facilities maintain updated medical histories, lab reports and other pertinent patient records, the results are clear: HIE participation improves outcomes and can help save time, stress and money for all parties involved.

 

Change through exchange

Strategies for better readmission rates cover a wide range of approaches. In the past, facilities have bettered their numbers by increasing staff, correcting claims data for accuracy, and by empowering families in the decision-making process. Now, researchers say the most effective practice happens not in person—but in the cloud.

A recent Florida study suggests that unplanned 30-day readmission rates improve when facilities participate in Health Information Exchange (HIE). Maintaining electronic health records boosts care quality by enhancing communication among caregivers, especially since most discharged patients end up in a facility of some kind.

 

Participation is Key

 

Time to upgrade

 

When hospitals and facilities maintain updated medical histories, lab reports and other pertinent patient records, the results are clear: HIE participation improves outcomes and can help save time, stress and money for all parties involved. In the spirit of collaboration, we encourage our care partners to embrace the cloud and experience all its advantages. By achieving readmission success, you can join the roughly 27% of participating HIE organizations that—instead of being penalized— receive a bonus from CMS in 2019.

 

How Communication Can Cut Costs