Preventing Readmissions

Reducing Preventable Hospital Readmissions


A 2007 report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) showed that more than 13 percent of hospital readmissions were potentially preventable (Medicare Payment Advisory Committee, 2007). Subsequent studies have found that in older populations, rates of readmission can run around 20 percent within 30 days of discharge (Jencks, 2009). With the announcement that providers will no longer be reimbursed for preventable readmissions, many hospitals are actively pursuing strategies to reduce their preventable readmissions. The Readmissions project is a two-phase research and implementation study to support hospital decision-makers in selecting the most effective readmission intervention for their hospital. The study involves three universities and three hospitals, all committed to researching and addressing preventable readmissions and representative of acute care hospitals serving communities nationwide.
The interventions will be based upon the identification and validation of causative factors for readmission at each hospital and the hospital’s capacity to implement. By comparing the nature of readmission experience across the three hospitals, the project team will determine similarities and differences and develop a better understanding of those strategies that may be consistently effective in all hospitals or unique to a specific hospital. If appropriate and possible, predictive models will be developed to understand the interaction among factors associated with increased risk for readmission.


Objectives
The objectives of this research and implementation project are to:
  1. Develop a profile of preventable readmissions at the hospital level
  2. Measure the current state of readmissions at the three partnering hospitals and compare them with readmissions rates and causes from the literature
  3. Develop statistical models to better predict risk of readmissions at the partnering hospitals
  4. Assess and prioritize care transition interventions based on these models, and work with the partnering hospitals to implement the best strategies to help mitigate their risks of readmissions
  5. Measure the improvement in readmission rates at the partnering hospitals
  6. Disseminate the results of the project.
Beyond the research agenda, the project seeks to establish a multi-university collaborative research environment focused on health care.

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