Reducing Hospital Readmissions by Utilizing Homecare

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Apr 17, 2011

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Utah - Utah

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Problem: Patients are often unnecessarily admitted or readmitted into a skilled setting, financially penalizing providers, when such practices are avoidable.

Nationally, 19.6 percent of patients were readmitted to a hospital within 30 days of discharge, 34 percent within 90 days and 56.1 percent within a year*
The five most common medical conditions for which hospital readmissions occur are: heart failure, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, psychoses, and gastrointestinal problems. The five most common surgical procedures are: cardiac stent placement, major hip or knee surgery, vascular surgery, major bowel surgery, and other hip or femur surgery.

Hospital readmissions are frequent and costly events which researchers suggest can be reduced by systemic changes to the health care system, including improved transition planning, quick follow-up care, and persistent treatment of chronic illnesses.
*S.F. Jencks, M.V. Williams, and E.A. Coleman, Rehospitalizations Among Patients in the Medicare Fee-for-Service Program, New England Journal of Medicine, Apr. 2, 2009
Discharge Transition: A private duty transitional caregiver in the home of a recently discharged patient will help reduce unnecessary readmissions by charting progress and reporting and by simply being there with the client to prevent them from engaging in high risk post-discharge behavior. A homecare aide will allow the client to recover in their own home while providing quality of care and promoting independence.
Readmission Diversion: With eyes on the discharged patient and key indicators being monitored and reported risk is mitigated. When a patients status declines beyond what a non-medical aide can control the clients physician and or a designated Home Health agency is brought in to further enhance the readmission diversion process.
Although currently personal in home care is not covered by Medicare, the benefit to having homecare in the home post discharge from either an acute hospital stay and or skilled nursing facility stay can promote a safe and positive outcome. In home care is available from a few hours per day to live in care and can help ease family's worries about their loved one being alone and or not having the assistance needed to reach their goals.
Editors Note: This article was written by Kim Trabing, LPN Executive Director, and Boad Swanson, President of Salus Homecare. They can be reached at 801-566-1185 or by email at Ktrabing@salushomecare.com




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