Hospital readmission penalties take effect – how home care can help

Monday, October 1st marked the first day of the new CMS initiative to reduce hospital readmissions. Hospitals that readmit patients within 30 days of discharge will now be fined an average of $125,000 per facility. The penalty will be capped at 1% of the hospital’s Medicare reimbursement. This program is initially focused on the top three medical conditions of heart attacks, heart failure and puemonia for readmission rates. 

Internal hospital staff will have to reinvent their processes and communication to address the readmission rates for these medical conditions. How they do it will be noteworthy. In speaking with two hospital administrators, they mentioned that they have to reach outside the hospital to ensure that patients are getting the treatment they need to prevent returning to the hospital.  This is where home care comes in to save the day. 

The communication and collaboration between hospitals, physicians, patients with home care provides is essential to coordinate care transitions to prevent rehospitalization. 

Home care providers should now share their quality scores of readmission rates with hospitals and physicians to reflect the value they bring to the good patient outcomes with reduced rehospitalization rates.