“Cutting Avoidable Readmissions Starts in the ED”
Thousands of hospitals will lose more than $300 million in Medicare payments this year as a result of penalties from the Readmissions Reduction Program. To understand where to begin addressing the avoidable readmissions problem, hospitals must first recognize where their patients are most frequently entering their facility – the emergency department. In fact, between 50 and 70 percent of admitted patients enter the hospital through the ED. Patients often present to the ED because they haven’t received appropriate follow-up care in the community and/or they have no medical home or primary care provider to manage their outpatient care. In short, examining what happens to patients post-ED discharge can lead to solutions that prevent repeat visits to the ED and, ultimately, admissions to the hospital. Hospital leaders should consider the following steps when designing a plan to prevent avoidable readmissions.
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