Solutions to Lower Hospital Readmission Rates

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A topic that is frequently encountered by my nurses and therapists is “how can I prevent my mother/father from going back to the hospital?”  This is not only a concern for family members but also medical professionals and hospital administrators. The question of ever-increasing readmission penalty rates for hospitals hasn’t been answered for a while now. Day by day it has become an insurmountable challenge which hospitals, especially in Illinois, are finding very tough to climb and address in the long run. A recent report, revealed that these are the top 10 Illinois hospitals penalized for readmissions.

Hospital Name City State 2013 (%) 2014 (%) 2015 (%) 2016 (%) 2017 (%) Years Penalized
Richland Memorial Hospital Olney IL 1 0.75 2.21 1.98 3 5
Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center Joliet IL 1 1.11 2.66 2.79 2.84 5
Pekin Memorial Hospital Pekin IL 0.59 1.12 2.6 3 2.59 5
Ssm Health St Mary’s Hospital –Centralia Centralia IL 1 1.52 1.84 1.35 2.56 5
Heartland Regional Medical Center Marion IL 0.96 0.73 1.09 1.17 2.44 5
Osf Saint Anthony’s Health Center Alton IL 0.22 0.49 1.52 1.74 2.44 5
Harrisburg Medical Center Harrisburg IL 0.85 0.69 0.8 1.3 2.33 5
Presence United Samaritans Medical Center Danville IL 1 1.64 1.74 1.17 2.27 5
Louis A Weiss Memorial Hospital Chicago IL 0.79 0.41 1.54 1.52 2.19 5
Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital Lake Forest IL 0.22 0.07 1.79 0.65 2.15 5

For each hospital, Medicare determined what it thought the appropriate number of readmissions should be based on the mix of patients and how the hospital industry performed overall. If the number of readmissions was above that projection, Medicare fined the hospital.

One of the most important factors in a hospital/clinic’s quality is the “readmission rate”. It basically reflects the competence of a hospital/clinic and its team of doctors and nurses to cure the diseased person and hence not get them to return with the same disease in a set time. It boils down to being an extraneous cost and essentially a bad mark that the management and its doctors would like to avoid. But, many clinics feel that readmissions aren’t unavoidable considering the age group and severity of disease in their patient.

Readmissions, despite our best efforts, are sometimes unavoidable when you’re dealing with some age group (medically compromised patients). Especially those with diseases like end-stage renal disease need that extra care and guidance that clinics can’t provide to each and every admitted patient. Here at DirectMed Health Services (DMHS) we have found many solutions for the issue of increasing readmission rates. Our services help prevent our patients from being readmitted to the hospital from complications of their disease.

We are a center of excellence for Homecare Services to all our client households, hospitals, physicians, and other consumers of home health services. For over 13 years, DMHS has delivered quality care with committed staff members and finest practices. We also specialize in Chronic Kidney Disease Management. Our specialized care plan is comprised of a professional advisory board, Nephrologist, Renal RN Manager, Renal Dietician, Renal Social Worker and Chronic Kidney Disease patient.

  • Our average re-hospitalizations of patients are much lower than both the state and National averages.
  • We have diversified full-time RNs who are bilingual, can converse fluently in Spanish and English.
  • Surveys have shown that our patients feel they receive exceptional care and they truly like our nurses and therapists methodologies.
  • Both locally and internationally, we consistently outperform other home health agencies.
  • In some cases we are able to evaluate patients on the same day based on the referral if required, with time and location will be the ultimate factor.
  • We essentially have set up a transitional care program to help discharged patients to be in accord with their treatments. Our nurses work full time to help patients order prescriptions, remind them about follow-up visits to their doctor.

For more information on how DirectMed Health Services can help you, contact Ken Banks, President and CEO of DirectMed at 312-642-5500 or at info@dmhservices.com

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