Urge focus on whole person

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Long-term care providers should treat residents holistically, rather than narrowing in on an illness, to reduce rehospitalization rates, researchers recommended recently.

Columbia University Medical Center analyzed two years of data related to rehospitalization records for Medicare beneficiaries admitted for a heart attack, heart failure or pneumonia. They found rehospitalizations are often related to a different condition than the one that caused the initial admittance. Results appeared Jan. 23 in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

In a separate report released Feb. 11, Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice researchers found that hospital readmission rates for Medicare patients remained steady between 2008 and 2010.

However, there was significant variance depending on where the beneficiary lived. The readmission rate was highest in the Bronx, NY, and lowest in Ogden, UT. 

As of October, hospitals began  seeing Medicare reimbursement affected by readmissions rates related to certain conditions. 


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