February 25th, 2013 by David E. Williams of the Health business blog
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) recently released The Revolving Door: A Report on US Hospital Readmissions. It uses data from the Dartmouth Atlas project to show that many Medicare patients are readmitted to the hospital after being discharged. The report also includes results from interviews with patients and providers to provide insights into how to reduce avoidable readmissions. It’s all part of Care About Your Care, which is designed to improve care transitions and reduce readmissions.
The report has generated a good deal of press interest, so I decided to delve a bit deeper in this interview with Anne Weiss, Quality/Equality Health Care Team Director and Senior Program Officer at RWJF.
In this podcast we discuss:
- The significance of the regional variation in readmissions, and whether the variation reflects true best and worst practices to emulate or avoid, or whether other factors are at play.
- Reasons behind the lack of recent progress in reducing readmissions.
- What influence patients and caregivers have on whether a specific patient will need to be readmitted once discharged.
- Whether patients can do anything ahead of time –like picking a certain type of primary care practice– to avoid being readmitted if they are ever hospitalized.
- Opportunities for entrepreneurs to address the readmissions challenge –in the short term and long term.