Managing high rates of hospital readmissions

Share this article:
Bruce Baron
Bruce Baron

The Affordable Care Act levies penalties against hospitals for excessive readmissions. Such readmissions are often unnecessary, avoidable and surprisingly costly to eldercare providers. 

 

According to a recent study by NEHI – a national health policy institute, entitled Improving Medication Adherence and Reducing Hospital Readmissions almost 20% of hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries are readmitted within 30 days – of which over half are potentially avoidable. A significant portion of hospital readmissions are caused by non-compliance to care plans.

 

Eldercare providers dependent on a high census level to ensure profitability and sustainability are adversely affected by hospital readmissions. The return of seniors to hospitals leaves beds and apartments empty and causes census levels to drop.  

 

To combat readmissions, many hospitals are testing new models for hospital discharge that essentially seek to restore the continuity in care that years ago were provided by family doctors and community based support groups. These models often include additional medical visits and multiple calls to seniors in the high-risk category for readmissions - to ensure they are following their care plans.

 

At VoiceFriend, we endorse these additional communications to encourage and support conformance to care plans for discharged hospital patients. However, to make these “touchpoints” more cost effective, we believe that appropriate, program specific, automated communications – including telephone calls, text messages and email can be effective encouragement to improve care plan adherence. Additionally, devices that can speak care plan reminders at the push of a button are also an effective, low cost solution. 

 

At various VoiceFriend clients, community staff send automated conformance to care plan message reminders.  These simple reminder messages are often enough to ensure care plan compliance, thereby reducing hospital readmissions, keeping seniors healthy and positively impacting census levels. 

 

Bruce Baron is CEO of VoiceFriend. He can be reached at bruce.baron@voicefriend.net.   

Share this article:
close

Next Article in Marketplace

Featured Listings

Anacapa Technologies, Inc.

Anacapa Technologies, Inc.

Anacapa Technologies, Inc. is a veteran-owned, federally certified small business based in San ...

Bulk TV Internet

Bulk TV  Internet

Bulk TV & Internet is a leading provider of television, Internet and phone ...

Chestnut Ridge Foam, Inc.

Chestnut Ridge Foam, Inc.

The CAREFLEX PHPFP Mattress is our most popular model within acute care and ...

more »

More in Marketplace

Empowering patients to take charge

Empowering patients to take charge

Research supports the notion that engagement of patients in monitoring and managing their own healthcare elevates the patient's role from passive recipient to active director.

Using a GPS-like system for residents

Using a GPS-like system for residents

Many seemed geared toward traditional nursing homes, but I envisioned a different kind of care, and I felt I needed a different kind of technology.

A new kind of holy water

A new kind of holy water

We found long ago that movement in warm water is the perfect solution for those suffering from pain. While in the water, patients can stretch and move pain-free in its ...