Patient readmission a troubling trend
Once you leave the hospital after treatment, the last thing you want is a return visit. But scores of people end up back at the emergency room or are readmitted to the hospital according to the results of a study of almost 4 million patients. The findings were recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The research showed that nearly 20 percent of patients, who were hospitalized, returned to the hospital or the ER within 30 days from discharge. Emergency department visits accounted for nearly 40 percent of those return visits.
The study is new, but the news may not be surprising. Healthcare providers have been keenly aware of this costly and troubling trend. Current healthcare reform laws are targeting high readmission rates and will reward providers for not only reducing the number of readmissions but for also improving health outcomes overall. An increasing number of hospitals are working to reduce unnecessary medical services by more efficiently managing and coordinating patient care, especially among the chronically ill.
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