OpenPlacement Blog

Readmissions
Long-Term Care

Reducing Readmission from Long Term Care Facilities

By Christy Rakoczy on November 27th, 2012

Earlier this month, we offered some [Strategies to Reduce Readmission](https://www.openplacement.com/blog/2012/11/strategies-to-reduce-readmission) and got a very positive response from readers. So, we've decided to expand on our tips and strategies and to provide some specific advice for lowering readmission strategies when releasing patients into specific post-hospital environments. Since so many patients go to long-term care (LTC) facilities after leaving the hospital, we'll be starting with some tips to reduce readmissions when patients are released into a long-term care situation.    **Tips for Reducing Readmissions from Long Term Care** Long-term care facilities are staffed by medical professionals so in many ways it should be easier to avoid readmission when a patient is released to a facility rather than sent home. Unfortunately, due to a variety of problems including inadequate communication with long-term care facilities; choosing the incorrect facility; and overstaffed and underperforming long-term care providers, readmission rates still remain stubbornly high. In fact, according to the [Robert Wood Johnson Foundation](http://www.rwjf.org/content/rwjf/en/research-publications/find-rwjf-research/2010/01/the-revolving-door-of-rehospitalization-from-skilled-nursing-fac.html), approximately ¼ of Medicare beneficiaries discharged into a skilled nursing home were readmitted to hospitals within 30 days, at a cost of $4.34 billion.

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medicare
CFAH

When it’s Time to Drop Your Medicare Advantage Plan

By Trudy Lieberman on November 21st, 2012

A few weeks ago, I reported that [most seniors on Medicare tend to stick to the plan](http://blog.preparedpatientforum.org/blog/2012/10/do-seniors-want-so-many-medicare-choices/) they initially chose even though as the years go by they might be able to get a cheaper model by junking the old one. Medicare beneficiaries are more like bank customers than car buyers, it seems. Once they choose a plan—whether it’s a traditional Medigap policy or one of the new Medicare Advantage (MA) plans—they keep it. A [study](http://www.nber.org/papers/w18359) from the National Bureau of Economic Research, a private, nonprofit research organization, checked out this phenomenon and concluded that if seniors stayed in a plan they could end up paying ten percent more in premiums than if they switched to a newer plan. New plans often have cheaper premiums because health insurance sellers—engaging in a kind of bait and switch—entice shoppers with low price tags and then as they get older and sicker and have medical claims, the premiums go up. Still, people hang on to what they have.

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Discharge Planning

Top 8 Things to Consider When Discharging to Senior Care

By Amy Barlow on November 18th, 2012

There is ever-increasing evidence that shows serious deficiencies in patient care quality exists during transitions between care facilities. Many issues can arise in these circumstances that can jeopardize patient's safety and they all seem to share similar problems and solutions. Issues such as medication errors, lack of appropriate follow-up care, insufficient or inaccurate information transfers are easily avoided. If discharge planners do their part to improve on these issues it will lead to transitions into continuing care that are smoother and will result in happier patients and ultimately better care. 1. **"Know your patient"** **​**The most important aspect of patient care is to "know your patient". This goes beyond knowing only their personal information and medical condition(s). Discharge planners should thoroughly immerse themselves in a patient's medical chart. You must know what care your patient needs at all stages of their care and also be able to explain this in understandable terms to both your patient and their family.

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Readmissions

California's Best and Worst Hospitals Based on 30-Day Readmission Data

By Christy Rakoczy on November 15th, 2012

Higher-quality patient care at the hospital has historically been thought to reduce the possibility that the same patient will be readmitted within 30 days' time.  However, according [to a recent study](http://medcitynews.com/2012/11/study-following-quality-care-guidelines-do-not-lower-hospital-readmissions/), it appears that this may not be the case. A more effective approach to readmission data may be the development of care guidelines for those suffering from different illnesses - for example, distinguishing between heart attacks, heart failure, and instances of pneumonia. The following data was compiled from the site listed in the above article, Hospital Compare. Readmissions data between hospitals throughout California from the database download was examined, and the hospitals were compared against one another. The data was then broken down into "Heart Attack," "Heart Failure," and "Pneumonia" readmission categories.

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Readmissions
medicare
Discharge Planning

Strategies to Reduce Readmission

By Christy Rakoczy on November 7th, 2012

Readmission is a major problem in U.S. hospitals, so much so that [_Hospital Impact_](http://www.hospitalimpact.org/index.php/2012/10/24/p4151) reports that one out of every five Medicare patients is readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of being discharged.  _Hospital Impact_ reports that these readmissions come at a cost of approximately $17.5 billion each year. While [_Fierce Healthcare_](http://www.fiercehealthcare.com/story/are-there-any-winners-readmission-reduction-program/2012-10-09) reports that Medicare has a new policy- called a [Readmissions Reduction Program](http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/AcuteInpatientPPS/Readmissions-Reduction-Program.html) - that docks up to 1 percent of pay for hospitals with high readmission rates, simply penalizing hospitals isn’t the answer. No hospital or rehabilitative care facility wants patients to be sent back into the hospital. The problem, as [_News Medical_](http://www.news-medical.net/news/20120730/Strategies-to-reduce-readmission-are-lacking-in-US-hospitals.aspx) reports, is that hospitals are lacking in cohesive strategies to reduce readmission.  Developing a detailed discharge plan, therefore, is a key first step in helping patients to thrive once they’ve left the hospital. So, how can hospitals succeed at doing this? Here are a few tips.

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Readmissions
medicare

Care Services in a Skilled Nursing Facility Covered by Medicare and Medicaid

By Amy Barlow on November 5th, 2012

According to researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, health-care costs during the last 5 years of life exceed patient’s total assets for 25 percent of the Medicare population. This is because although Medicare provides a significant amount of health care coverage, it does not cover co-payments, deductibles, homecare services, or non-rehabilitative nursing home care. This shows just how important it is to ensure that patients make full use of their Medicare and Medicaid covered services. The care coverage in Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF’s) varies between Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance. The task of sorting through various websites and insurance paperwork to figure out your eligibility for these services can be a challenging task.

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Long-Term Care

The Cost of Living Longer

By M.L. Sutton on November 2nd, 2012

_This post originally appeared here:_ [http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203937004578079184108523030.html?mod=googlenews\_wsj#project=INVESTOR1027&articleTabs=article](http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203937004578079184108523030.html?mod=googlenews_wsj#project=INVESTOR1027&articleTabs=article) _and was published by The Wall Street Journal._ Andee St. John is searching for an assisted-living facility near Columbia, S.C., for her 69-year-old mother, who was hospitalized recently after several falls. But finding the place with the right combination of price, amenities and services has been difficult. So far, Ms. St. John has consulted with a financial adviser, a geriatric social worker and an elder-law attorney as part of her research. "It's been very eye-opening," Ms. St. John says. "You don't just pay one fee a month for assisted living. There are all these different add-ons." A growing number of families are wrestling with the same dilemma: rising costs for long-term care and a mind-boggling array of options.

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Readmissions
medicare

4 Discharge Tactics To Reduce Senior Readmissions

By Justin Usher on October 26th, 2012

_This post originally appeared here: [http://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/news/4-discharge-tactics-reduce-senior-readmissions](http://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/news/4-discharge-tactics-reduce-senior-readmissions)_ _and was published by Healthcare Finance News._ In light of the recent Readmissions Reduction Program under the Affordable Care Act, numerous hospitals and medical industry experts are examining new approaches that will decrease the rate of hospital readmissions.

 "The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimates $15 billion is spent annually on readmissions for Medicare patients, with $12 billion of that amount being preventable," said Jeff Huber, president and COO of Home Instead Senior Care, a provider of non-medical in-home care services for seniors. "This is an issue of significant concern to everyone in the healthcare field. There are a number of simple and cost efficient best practices that healthcare organizations can easily implement as they work to decrease the number of unnecessary senior readmissions."

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Long-Term Care

AARP Study: California Faces Soaring Demand for Long-Term Care

By M.L. Sutton on October 18th, 2012

_This post originally appeared here: [http://www.californiahealthline.org/capitol-desk/2012/10/long-term-care-demand-expected-to-soar.aspx#ixzz29ZXR5BCT](http://www.californiahealthline.org/capitol-desk/2012/10/long-term-care-demand-expected-to-soar.aspx#ixzz29ZXR5BCT)_  _and was published by California Healthline._ California faces soaring demand for long-term care services, with a senior population expected to surge 90% by 2032, according to a new study by AARP. The number of seniors age 85 and over -- those most likely to need long-term care -- will grow by 78%, significantly faster than the U.S. average, the report said.

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Discharge Planning

Hospital Admins Must Answer 5 Key Questions To Shape A Successful Post-Acute Care Strategy

By M.L. Sutton on October 13th, 2012

_This post originally appeared here:_ [http://medcitynews.com/2012/10/hospital-admins-must-answer-5-key-questions-to-shape-a-successful-post-acute-care-strategy/](http://medcitynews.com/2012/10/hospital-admins-must-answer-5-key-questions-to-shape-a-successful-post-acute-care-strategy/)  _and was published by MedCity News._ The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has fundamentally changed the healthcare marketplace and permanently altered the role of post-acute programs in the strategic response of health systems. This is a challenge for many hospital systems as they have under invested in management talent and the infrastructure of their post-acute capabilities. As payment models evolve and providers become more accountable for patient’s costs, care will be driven to the lowest cost settings. A hospital’s post-acute capabilities could be an engine that drives profitability or the burden that causes missed opportunity.

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