Through technology, statistical analysis, and specialized support post-discharge, the California hospital has seen a significant reduction in readmissions -- Studies estimate that nearly two million Medicare beneficiaries are readmitted to hospitals within 30 days of discharge annually, costing Medicare $17.5 billion for the additional care. The national average readmission rate has remained steady at around 19 percent for several years, even as many hospitals have worked harder to lower theirs.
Last year, Medicare began levying financial penalties against hospitals with avoidable readmissions under a mandate from the Affordable Care Act. The maximum penalty this federal fiscal year (FFY) is 1 percent of regular payments, with that percentage growing to 2 percent in FFY 2014 and 3 percent in FFY 2015. For this reason, as well as the “clinical mission to continue to provide care to patients after they leave the hospital,” officials at the 443-bed El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, Calif. decided that, rather than stand by and wait for these penalties to come down, action needed to be taken and the bar needed to be set high, says Greg Walton, CIO at El Camino.
Read the complete article on the Healthcare Infomatics website.