Founder’s Note: Mark Kimsey, June 18, 2013

June 18, 2013

One of the hottest topics in healthcare these days is rehospitalizations and how they can financially cripple our healthcare system. A rehospitalization is where a patient is initially seen and discharged from a hospital, but is readmitted within 30 days for the same diagnosis. In cases of rehospitalization, the hospital receives no additional money for any care rendered during the second admission. Starting in 2013, in addition to providing free care for a rehospitalization, hospitals with high rates of rehospitalization will receive additional monetary penalties that will total greater than $100,000 per year for more than 25% of all hospital providers.

The penalties are intended to punish hospital providers who rush to discharge patients that should have had a longer stay during their initial admission. It also is intended to identify facilities that aren’t achieving the ultimate outcome of stabilizing their patients so they can function independently after discharge. Recent data suggests that home health can play a major role in reducing rehospitalizations. Of the hospital facilities nationwide that have the lowest readmission rates, home health was used for 32% of all discharged patients compared to a national average of 16%. Data also showed that 25% of all patients who did not receive home health services ultimately were rehospitalized within 30 days.

Home Health is a fully covered service that can reduce healthcare costs by keeping patients at home. We encourage hospital patients and their families to ask about the appropriateness of home health for themselves or their loved one before they are discharged from a hospital facility.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.