OpenPlacement Blog

Discharge Planning

Clinician Resources to Promote Improved Hospital Discharge Processes

By Christy Rakoczy on March 7th, 2013

In our fast-paced and ever changing world, medical personnel face the challenge of providing quality and personal care to a vast number of patients.  With the number of people being treated in hospitals increasing, it is very important for the discharge process to be as smooth and informative as possible.  Breakdowns in communication between facilities and caregivers during hospital discharge processes can cause serious and sometimes life-threatening situations, and in recent years several resources have been created to prevent such situations from occurring.

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medicare
Case Management

Understanding The HCAHPS

By Christy Rakoczy on February 22nd, 2013

Health care is a hot topic, and hospitals must pay increasing attention to something called the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS).  Pronounced H-Caps, this assessment is given to random eligible patients after they are discharged, and the patients’ responses are used to establish ratings for the hospitals.  These ratings are released to the public four times a year. **The HCAHPS Requirement** In 2002, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) began working with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to create and test the survey before it went into public use.  Both agencies are in the federal Department of Health and Human Services.

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Discharge Planning

Understanding and Improving Discharge: A Critical Factor in Reducing Potential For Readmission

By Christy Rakoczy on January 28th, 2013

**Introduction**.  Recent studies have shown that the discharge process can be very difficult.  The challenges of the complex process can easily lead to errors that lead to unnecessary re-hospitalization.  Preventing these both improves the patient's outlook and prevents care facilities from receiving penalties associated with excessive readmissions.  This report takes a look at the discharge process and some of the data gathered over the last several years as a means of understanding and improving discharge. **The importance of effective discharge planning**.  Studies from the [Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality](http://hcupnet.ahrq.gov/) demonstrated that there were more than 39 million discharges in the United States in 1996.  Unplanned re-hospitalizations [cost a whopping 17 and a half billion dollars](http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=19339721), accounting for nearly a fifth of Medicare's hospital payments between 2003 and 2004.  The end result, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Readmissions Reduction Program, is that in 2012, [about two out of every three facilities received some sort of penalty](http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/AcuteInpatientPPS/Readmissions-Reduction-Program.html) for excessive readmissions.

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medicare
Long-Term Care

Senior Care Trends We’re Seeing in Southern California That You Should Know About

By Christy Rakoczy on January 15th, 2013

Anti-psychotic medications are being abused in record numbers in nursing home settings as care providers dose patients to make them more docile and to make their behavior easier to control. This is an egregious form of senior abuse and a serious public health problem. In February 2012, the American Health Care Association announced a three-year plan for nursing homes and assisted living communities to improve their care, including reducing the use of off-label uses of antipsychotic medications.  Anyone interacting with senior patients, from hospital discharge planners to nursing home administrators, needs to be aware of the measures being taken.  Progress on this issue is just one important trend in senior care. Consider both the anti-psychotic drugs issue as well as some other key trends that are important to senior care providers.

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Discharge Planning
Long-Term Care

Senior Living Options: An In-Depth Look

By Amy Barlow on January 11th, 2013

Traditionally nursing home care was the only option for long-term senior care. It was not until the mid-1980s that different assisted living communities started to emerge in the United States. These communities were thought to be a shift from the institutional setting that were strict with regulations and gave patients and families few options of choice. These assisted living variations can offer very desirable features and have shown great patient satisfaction. There are many factors to consider when deciding on your future living arrangements which can make the decision difficult. Below is information on many different senior living options to assist in your choice of which option is right for you.

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Discharge Planning

Tips When Working With Seniors With Behavioral Problems

By Christy Rakoczy on January 10th, 2013

Working with behavioral problems among elderly patients can be exhausting.  Inexperienced caregivers sometimes respond poorly to such behavior, which can, in some cases, lead to verbal or even physical abuse.  Placement of these individuals is another matter all together - because they are so difficult to deal with, it is extremely difficult for discharge planners and social workers to find facilities that are able and willing to provide them the special care that they need.  Here are some practical tips we've found make the process of working with seniors with behavioral problems a bit easier.

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CFAH

Hospitals Under the Microscope: Another Way to Check-Out Your Hospital

By Trudy Lieberman on January 9th, 2013

The nation’s hospitals are now officially on notice that the federal government is looking closely at the kind of care they give—so closely that Medicare will be giving them a financial bonus or a penalty depending on the job they do. At the end of the year, Medicare announced that some 1,500 hospitals received bonuses while about 1,400 got payment reductions. For hospitals treating a lot of Medicare patients, that can mean big bucks for the bottom line, either way. In the hope of spurring better care—and maybe reducing costs—the Affordable Care Act requires Medicare to judge the quality of care they deliver using measures of care for mostly heart and pneumonia patients, ratings of patient experience, and tracking if patients are readmitted after 30 days. Health experts regard these costly readmissions as preventable failures that occurred somewhere in the chain of care.

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Readmissions
medicare
Social Worker

What Social Workers and Discharge Planners Should Know About Medicare

By Christy Rakoczy on January 3rd, 2013

Here's the understatement of the New Year: Medicare can be frustratingly complex for patients and discharge planners alike.  Nevertheless, it is critical for social workers and discharge planners to be in the know about the aspects of Medicare that directly affect their patients and care facilities.  We have compiled a list that, although not exhaustive, highlights some crucial information that discharge planners should be aware of.

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Discharge Planning
OpenPlacement Resource Guide

Ten Powerful Online Resources for Patient Care Coordinators

By Christy Rakoczy on December 14th, 2012

Resources for patient care coordinators, from case managers to social workers and discharge planners, can at times be difficult to comb through.  Not all online information is particularly helpful, and precious few resources offer top-quality information to make the life of the patient care coordinator a little bit simpler (even fewer for free!).  To help hospital professionals, we've come up with a top ten list of websites that provide you, the patient care coordinator, with some powerful tools - and with critical information that can be shared with patients and their families to facilitate care.

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medicare
Discharge Planning

Continuing Care Coordinators Need to Provide Choice for Patients

By Christy Rakoczy on December 7th, 2012

Doctors and hospitals have certain obligations to provide competent care to patients. This duty of care does not end at the hospital doors. When a patient is discharged, the hospital/healthcare provider has a responsibility to ensure that any discharge plan is made in the best interests of the patient and takes into account the medical needs of the patient. Everyone, from the treating physician to the discharge planner, must take certain steps to ensure that the goals of providing competent care are met even once the patient has left.

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