Communities Reducing Readmissions Print
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Deb Innis   
Monday, 28 January 2013 16:36

West Des Moines, Iowa - When Medicare patients make an unplanned return to the hospital it delays their recovery, exposes them to infection, costs taxpayers money and consumes health care resources. The approach Iowa communities are taking to improve the transition between hospital and post-hospital care has been validated by research in the January 23, 2013 edition of JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The article describes projects in communities in 14 states that produced an average 6% decrease in hospitalizations and re-hospitalizations over two years. This CMS QIO project formed the foundation for Telligen's current care transitions work.

"Our data show that nearly one in five patients who leave the hospital today will be re-admitted within the next month, and that more than three-quarters of these re-admissions are potentially preventable," said Dr. Patrick Conway, CMS Chief Medical Officer and Center for Clinical Standards & Quality Director. "This situation can be changed by approaching health care quality from a community-wide perspective, and focusing on how everyone who touches a patient's life-whether part of the traditional 'health care team' or not-can better work together in the best interests of their shared patient population to prevent hospitalizations."

Telligen is working with communities focused on reducing avoidable hospital readmissions. Following the model described in the JAMA study, this work brings together consumers, hospitals, nursing homes, physician clinics, home health care, pharmacists and social service agencies.

"In our complex health care system people rely on many providers and services, so shared, local effort is important," said Kate LaFollette, Telligen Sr. QI Facilitator. "Communities are breaking down organizational boundaries to do what is best for the patient."

Telligen helps communities discover the reasons behind the readmissions rates. Medical research and best practices are identified and tailored to meet the community's needs. Telligen works with community partners to analyze data to gauge progress and impact.

Telligen's efforts are part of a national project to transform health care in more than 400 communities across the country. Called "Integrating Care for Populations and Communities," the project is part of the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization Program.

More details about this national effort are online at http://www.cfmc.org/integratingcare/.

About the QIO Program: The QIO Program is a major force and trustworthy partner for the continual improvement of health and healthcare for all Americans. The program achieves national health quality goals through a network of 53 QIOs located in every state, territory and the District of Columbia. QIOs bring together patients, providers, practitioners and other stakeholders to improve patient care, improve population and community health and lower the costs of care through improvement.

About Telligen: For over 40 years, Telligen has been dedicated to the delivery of innovative health management solutions that improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of healthcare for consumers and providers. Telligen serves commercial clients and government programs at the federal, state and local level, improving healthcare for millions of people nationwide. For more information, visit us at www.telligen.org.

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