March 14th, 2013
The numbers are disturbing and disappointingly familiar. According to the federal government, one in five elderly patients winds up back in the hospital within 30 days of leaving. The cost is troubling, too. The readmission of Medicare patients alone costs $26 billion annually, $17 of which is spent on return trips that wouldn’t need to happen if patients received proper care during their first visit.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services calls avoidable readmissions one of the leading problems facing the U.S. health care system, and in an effort to turn things around is now penalizing hospitals with high rates of readmissions for patients with certain conditions.
In America, we should be doing better. We need to pinpoint why this problem persists. What are the human factors behind these numbers?
That is why the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation commissioned a report, “The Revolving Door: A Report on U.S. Hospital Readmissions,” to take a closer look at the issue of readmissions through the eyes of those grappling with the problem. The report is part of our Care About Your Care initiative, devoted to improving the transition from hospital to home.Read the rest of this entry »