CMS discloses new post-acute initiative to prevent rehospitalizations

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CMS Acting Administrator Charlene Frizzera
CMS Acting Administrator Charlene Frizzera
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is beginning a new pilot program to help ease the adjustment from the hospital to a skilled nursing facility or home. The purpose is to prevent hospital readmissions.

CMS said Monday it has selected 14 communities to participate in the Care Transitions Project. By promoting seamless transitions from the hospital to home, skilled nursing care or home health care, CMS hopes it will be able to reduce the number of rehospitalizations among Medicare beneficiaries. In announcing the new pilot program, CMS Acting Administrator Charlene Frizzera cited a recent study that found 20% of hospital patients are readmitted within 30 days, and up to 75% of those readmissions are potentially preventable.

A state-run Quality Improvement Organization will lead each of the 14 communities participating in the program, and CMS will follow the progress of the program until the summer of 2011. The project is a new approach for the agency, according to one CMS official. Instead of applying a one-size-fits-all solution to the problem of preventable rehospitalizations, CMS will see what works best at a local, community level. More information on the program is available at http://www.cfmc.org/caretransitions.