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

January 28th, 2013 | 0

Discharge_1Introduction.  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 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, 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 for excessive readmissions.

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