Skip to content Skip to navigation

Report Highlights Difficulties of Reducing Readmission Rates Among Medicare Beneficiaries

April 17, 2013
by Gabriel Perna
| Reprints

According to a report from researchers at Penn State, the Weill Cornell Medical College, and the University of Pennsylvania, reducing preventable readmission rates among Medicare beneficiaries may take longer than expected due to the challenges of care coordination. One-in-five Medicare beneficiaries returns to the hospital within 30 days of discharge, costing a total of $18 billion to the program, the authors of the report say.

Researchers of the report examined the State Action on Avoidable Rehospitalizations (STAAR), which aims to reduce hospital readmissions in Massachusetts, Michigan, and Washington by 20 to 30 percent. From a series of interviews with STAAAR directors, advisers, participants, providers, and other stakeholders, the researchers deduced that collaborative relationships among providers in different care settings is the integral ingredient to reducing readmission rates.

However, this is easier said than done, according to Jessica Mittler, assistant professor of health policy and administration at Penn State and one of the report’s authors. These collaborations are not naturally occurring in most communities, the researchers report. Also, a challenge lies in the lack of evidence that shows the effectiveness of various interventions for reducing readmissions, especially for care outside the hospital. The researchers also said efforts were limited because of infrastructure woes.

"Even the most dedicated and forward-thinking participants made it clear that there is no quick fix," Mittler said in a statement. "We learned that efforts to reduce hospital readmissions on a large scale will need to focus explicitly on promoting real collaboration across care settings. This means that policies need to consider the economic incentives for coordinating care and how to help cultivate productive human relationships to improve quality across settings."

The results of the report were published in a recent issue of Population Health Management.

Health IT Summit Series - Focus: POPULATION HEALTH MANAGEMENT

Get the latest information on Patient Engagement, and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day, intimate event bringing together C-level, physician, practice management and IT decision makers for strategy discussions, knowledge exchange, and one-on-one meetings.

San Francisco, April 5-6   |   Cleveland, April 19-20
Topics

News

ONC Publishes Blog Series, Fact Sheets to Clarify HIPAA

February 8, 2016
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) provides many pathways for permissibly exchanging Protected Health Information (PHI), the Office for the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) says in a recent blog post and fact sheet.

HHS Proposes to Modernize Privacy Rules on Substance Abuse Records

February 5, 2016
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) today announced proposed revisions to the privacy rules governing substance abuse medical records to facilitate health information exchange in support of delivery system reform.

Study: Clinical Analytics Functionality Improves, but Workflow Integration is an Ongoing Challenge

February 5, 2016
The development of robust data analytics capabilities that can provide comprehensive solutions for population health management is still likely several years away, but analytics vendors are rapidly improving technologies, a Chilmark Research study report says.

Nebraska Medicine Receives Stage 7 Recognition

February 3, 2016
Nebraska Medicine has reached Stage 7 on the Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM), developed by HIMSS Analytics, the research arm of the Chicago-based Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).

Sen. Lamar Alexander Urges HHS to Leverage Tools to Help Combat Zika Virus

February 3, 2016
Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), well known in health IT circles, has written a letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Sylvia Mathews Burwell expressing concern about the rapidly spreading Zika virus.

New Legislation Introduced to Expand Use of Telehealth Under Medicare

February 3, 2016
Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) introduced bipartisan legislation Wednesday that would expand the use of telehealth and remote patient monitoring (RPM) services under Medicare with the goal of cost savings and quality care.

IDC Report: Providers’ IT Budgets are Growing in Post-EHR Era

February 3, 2016
While 40 percent of healthcare providers reported that their IT budgets are still growing, only 25 percent that reported growing budgets attribute growth to electronic health records (EHRs), providing evidence that the post-EHR era is upon us, according to a new IDC Health Insights report.

CMS Issues Guidance on MU Hardship Exemption Process, Extends Comment Period on Quality Reporting

February 2, 2016
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued guidance to the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program hardship exemption process, specifically clarifying that providers are not required to submit documentation with the new hardship application form for the 2017 payment adjustment.

BREAKING: The 2016 HCI 100 is Now Open for Submissions

February 2, 2016
Is your company one of the 100 leading healthcare IT companies? HCI will once again rank the top vendors with the highest revenues derived from healthcare IT products and services earned in the U.S. based on revenue information from the previous year.

State-by-State Telemedicine Report Cards Shows Mixed Results

February 1, 2016
While more states have adopted policies improving coverage and reimbursement for telemedicine services, there is also a trend with state medical boards imposing more restrictive regulations which could be a barrier to more widespread use of telemedicine, according to the American Telemedicine Association’s latest state-by-state telemedicine report cards.

CMS Issues Final Rule that Allows Use of Telehealth for Face-to-Face Medicaid Encounters

February 1, 2016
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) last week published a final rule that allows physicians to use telehealth as a face-to-face encounter with Medicaid patients, which is required before the authorization of home health services.

Hacking Accounted for 98 Percent of Healthcare Data Breaches in 2015, Report Says

February 1, 2016
While lost and theft of employee devices accounted for the majority (68 percent) of healthcare data breaches in 2014, last year was a different story, with 98 percent of breaches due to hacking, according to a Bitglass Healthcare Breach Report.

IBM Watson to Take On Heart Health

February 1, 2016
The American Heart Association (AHA), IBM Watson and Denver, Colo.-based vendor Welltok are teaming up on the creation of a workplace health solution to improve heart health.

Time for Pioneering Change: The 2016 Healthcare Informatics Innovator Awards Winning Teams

February 1, 2016
It is our privilege once again this year to honor teams that are at the absolute tip of the spear in forging transformative change, through this year’s Healthcare Informatics Innovator Awards Program.

Theranos Flagged by CMS for “Condition-Level Deficiencies” In Labs

January 29, 2016
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) sent a letter to blood analysis startup Theranos citing “deficient practices” at the company’s northern California lab which pose “immediate jeopardy to patient health and safety.”

Pages