Readmissions are a challenge for most hospitals. In fact, over 2,500 hospitals received lower payments for every Medicare patient, readmitted or not. Even with readmission rates dropping since the Affordable Care Act’s Readmission Reduction Program started in 2010, one in five Medicare patients returns within 30 days.
Many hospitals have started implementing strategies to reduce preventable readmissions, but a national study found that most have not seen the success they are looking for.
One Florida-based hospital reduced readmissions for heart failure significantly using their Skylight (now GetWellNetwork) device to ask three simple questions before discharge:
- Do you have enough money for food?
- Do you have enough money to get your prescriptions?
- Do you have someone to take care of you?
An immediate alert was sent to a specialized team every time a patient did not meet all criteria
Implementation required integration between various systems to ensure the appropriate teams were notified and able to close the communication feedback loop once the action was taken. Two system engineers, using Iguana, set up the necessary interfaces between 4 EHRs within a matter of weeks.
The results? Impressive.
Medicare readmissions were reduced from 15% to 6.8% in 8 months, equating to a $1.16 million dollar savings for the provider.
Readmissions cost Medicare over 26 billion a year, and 17 billion of it is avoidable. While hospitals may not be able to impact the behavioral changes needed by patients to reduce readmissions, they can deliver numerous strategies, some within weeks.
To learn other ways you could save money using integration, check out our guide on the Business ROI of Integration.