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California Hospitals – A Comparison of the Top 3 (INFOGRAPHIC) Alyssa Chan

February 20th, 2014 | 0

California HospitalsWe recently decided to take a deep look at three of the largest and arguably most renown California Hospitals  — UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco, Stanford Hospital in Stanford and El Camino Hospital in Mountain View. Continuing with our infographic trend, we have simplified some key facts using the comparison tool on medicare.gov. Surveys were taken for patients’ experience at each California hospital as results are also mapped against the California average for all reporting hospitals and the National average for all reporting hospitals.

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Readmission & The Common Reasons Mary Bommel Shames

October 25th, 2013 | 11

Readmission (10.26.12)With the advent of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obama Care), it is crucial for hospitals to prevent readmissions to the best of their abilities. Under new law, hospitals with an unacceptably high level of readmissions within 30 days can result in financial penalties that many hospitals cannot afford to sustain. 

So, what is causing hospital readmissions? Why are patients who seemed to be well upon discharge being readmitted?

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Pharmacists, the New Discharge Planners? Christy Rakoczy

August 1st, 2013 | 3

PharmacistThe role of the pharmacist in the discharge process has previously been minimal. However, new studies of hospital readmission rates aimed to improve healthcare has resulted in increasing the roles of various workers in the healthcare profession in order to improve readmission rates.

Pharmacists are now playing an integral part in the discharge process largely due to the change in medications that often results from hospitalization and the recovery process. By being a part of this process, pharmacists are becoming great contributors to the reduction of hospital readmission rates.

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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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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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This entry was posted in Readmissions and tagged , ,

Post-Hospital Syndrome: The Silent Enemy Christy Rakoczy

May 2nd, 2013 | 2

PostHospitalSyndromeWith the advent of new penalties for hospitals in an effort to reduce readmissions, it is critical to explore post-hospital syndrome, its causes and prevention.

Post-Hospital syndrome is the condition of a patient after being treated in a hospital. About 20 percent of Medicare patients who receive treatment for an initial condition such as heart failure, COPD or pneumonia are readmitted within 30 days for other acquired conditions. The secondary conditions may include mental illness, heart failure, pneumonia, or gastrointestinal disturbance, to name a few. 

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This entry was posted in Discharge Planning and tagged ,

Which Care Transition Model is Best? Christy Rakoczy

April 22nd, 2013 | 2

Which Care Transition Model is Best?Care transition models play a huge role in lowering readmissions. Patients, families, and medical providers depend on these models to answer the “What, When, and Who” during a deterioration in a condition after being discharged. Hospitals have developed these models to point out to patients and their caregivers what red flags to look out for in their medical condition, when to make that call, and who to contact to attain appropriate care. Due to a fragmented healthcare system, the models have provided solutions in unifying medical providers into one system so patients receive timely and non-repetitive aftercare. I have looked into five current care transition models and outlined their differences to help you determine which is best. 

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

January 9th, 2013 | 0

CFAHThe 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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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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This entry was posted in Readmissions and tagged , , ,

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