New data on hospital readmissions from AHHQI

22.4 percent of post-acute care episodes have at least one readmission

From the Home Care magazine article August 13, 2012

The Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation (AHHQI) has released Working Paper #4 of the Clinically Advanced and Cost-Effective Placement (CACEP) research project, which examines hospital readmission and admission frequency and associated Medicare episode payments across three episode types: post-acute, pre-acute and non-post-acute (community-based) care. Hospital readmissions and admissions were analyzed within the context of patients’ chronic conditions and demographic characteristics.

Key findings: hospital readmissions increased Medicare episode payments by at least 100 percent; patients with more severe primary chronic conditions tend to have more readmissions; 22.4 percent of post-acute care episodes have at least one readmission; and Medicare post-acute care payments more than double when an episode contains at least one readmission, from an average payment of $15,335 without a readmission to $33,926 with a readmission.

Home Health Implications: CACEP Working Paper #4 data suggest that better management of chronic disease across all three episode types through home health intervention could enable more patients to remain out of the hospital following an initial admission, or prevent avoidable hospitalizations all together. Clinically appropriate and cost effective care ultimately can improve the quality of patient care and reduce the cost for the Medicare program and taxpayers. Home health care combines the right mix of care management, prevention training and close observation to significantly reduce hospital admissions.