Coaching sessions reduce hospital readmissions, study finds

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An hour-long educational coaching session and up to three follow-up phone calls reduced readmissions by 39% among Medicare patients, a new study finds.

The results indicate how healthcare entities can reduce cost of care related to readmissions, with researchers saying that the cost was reduced by $3,700 per patient for those who received the education.

The patient-centered coaching was called the Care Transitions Intervention and involved sending someone to the patient's home to discuss the patient's clinical issues, making sure patients understood how and what medication to take, and when and how to reach out for further assistance. This person did not need to be a healthcare professional, noted Stefan Gravenstein, M.D., senior author of the study and Interim Chief of the Division of Geriatrics at University Hospitals Case Medical Center

Those who received the home training accounted for a total mean cost of $14,700 in the six months after their hospital discharge, compared to $18,700 for the control group.

"If all hospitalized Medicare patients received this education and similarly benefited, it would translate into many billions of dollars of expensive costs avoided,” Gravenstein said.

Results appeared in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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