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Category Archives: Readmissions

Listen Up, What Doctors Aren’t Communicating Effectively to Seniors Christy Rakoczy

May 23rd, 2013 | 5

DrCommunicationIn a time when hospital readmissions rates are being closely analyzed and hospitals are attempting reforms to improve those rates, it is crucial to take a look at patient populations most frequently readmitted to hospitals and the reasons for readmission. Among those populations of people most frequently readmitted to hospitals, seniors are in great number. Poor discharge policies can be to blame.

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The Art of the Follow Up Call Christy Rakoczy

May 20th, 2013 | 2

SeniorOnPhoneFollowing up with patients after giving care is a crucial means of developing a strong patient relationship. It is also the key to improving overall patient care and reducing patient readmissions in the hospital setting.

Follow up calls can address a variety of issues. One common type of follow up call is to report lab results. Another type of common follow up call is to schedule appointments. However, calls can also be made to ensure patients have made appointments with referrals or are taking medication appropriately. Other calls may have the purpose of education or reinforcing knowledge. There are myriad factors that could warrant a follow up call to a patient. 

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Top 5 Nursing Innovations of 2013 Ninette Tan

May 17th, 2013 | 0

The theme45-127-t of 2013 National Nurses Week was “Delivering Quality and Innovation in Patient Care”. Quality of care has been at the forefront of innovation as nurses continue to explore new communication channels to educate, train, and improve the overall delivery of care. Although this list contains projects in early development stages, the nurses heading them continue to inspire new nurses by pushing the envelope in healthcare innovation.

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Reducing Readmissions: A 360 Perspective Christy Rakoczy

May 2nd, 2013 | 10

360The high number of readmissions within 30 days is an issue that all hospitals are currently seeking to analyze and improve. In order to do so, it is crucial to assess and improve current practices and develop innovative new policies and procedures that will help patients to recover quickly without need for readmission within a short period of time.

The Importance of Reducing Readmissions

Currently, about one in five Medicare patients are being readmitted to hospitals within 30 days due to secondary conditions that have arisen since discharge after treatment of an initial condition such as heart failure or pneumonia. To reduce this number, hospitals have begun to modify and improve patient care while the patient is hospitalized as well as after the patient has been discharged.

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Video Marketing is Crucial for Nursing Homes Christy Rakoczy

April 29th, 2013 | 3

VideoMarketingAccording to Ragan’s Healthcare Communication News, a 2012 study conducted by the Roberts Group indicated that newspaper ads, household mailings and radio commercials were the top three types of marketing material that influence the decision about whether to consider visiting a particular assisted living or skilled nursing facility. However, while these types of advertising are somewhat effective, the biggest things that influence the choice of care facility are the cleanliness of the facility and the attentiveness of the staff, none of which can be effectively conveyed in a stationary ad.

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The Effect of CMS 30 Day Readmission Policies on California Patients and Hospitals Christy Rakoczy

April 14th, 2013 | 0

CaliforniaHealthcareIn 2010 the Affordable Health Care Act was enacted and the process of moving toward full implementation of the Act began. In 2012, the CMS 30 Day Readmission Policy began to be enforced, penalizing thousands of hospitals for readmission of certain patients within a 30 day period. According to CMS.gov, penalty applies to readmissions of patients who had previously been admitted with Acute Myocardial Infection, Heart Failure, or Pneumonia. This penalty, a reduction in reimbursement by Medicare, up to 1%, cost hospitals hundreds of thousands of dollars but some assert that the goal of the policy, to improve follow up healthcare by hospitals to prevent necessary returns by patients, is being achieved as the percentage of readmissions nationwide dropped to 17.8% from the stagnant 19% it had been for several years. 

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Featured Events Brought to You by the AARP and Others Ninette Tan

April 5th, 2013 | 0

CalendarAuthors of Waiting to Exhale, Sex and the City, and Joy Luck Club  at AARP Expo.  AARP is thrilled to have Terry McMillan, Candace Bushnell and Amy Tan on stage together at Life@50+ in Las Vegas.

Check out these other exciting aging-related events for health care providers and people age 50+:

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What Social Workers and Discharge Planners Should Know About Medicare Christy Rakoczy

January 3rd, 2013 | 0

Medicare_3Here’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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Reducing Readmission from Long Term Care Facilities Christy Rakoczy

November 27th, 2012 | 0

StrategyEarlier this month, we offered some 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, 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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California’s Best and Worst Hospitals Based on 30-Day Readmission Data Christy Rakoczy

November 15th, 2012 | 2

HospitalSignHigher-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, 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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