Melanie’s mother Ellen* came home from the hospital after a coronary artery bypass graft. At 78, Ellen already took medications for GERD, depression and high blood pressure. At discharge, she was a little confused about all of the instructions and medication changes provided but was embarrassed to say anything. Melanie believed that her mother had a firm grasp on her new medication regimen.
Two weeks later, Ellen felt progressively weaker and was unable to get out of bed. Her confusion about her medication changes had caused a bad reaction. Ellen was re-admitted to treat her condition and get her back on the path to recovery.
The price of readmission
Government programs have changed reimbursement and care requirements significantly over the last decade. Under the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP) went into effect in 2012. The HRRP aims to incentivize hospitals to improve patient follow up and monitoring to reduce unnecessary readmissions.
Many organizations are looking for unique ways to reduce hospital readmission rates, as return visits to the hospital are costly, and the added penalties for avoidable readmissions can be significant.
- A 2018 study by The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) identified an average 2018 readmission rate of 14% at an average cost of $15,200.1
- The HRRP allows Medicare to reduce future reimbursements by up to 3% based on above-average readmission rates.2
- For the fiscal year ending in September 2022, Medicare is penalizing 2,499hospitals or 47% of all facilities. The reduced payments will cost hospitals an estimated $521 million.3
How to reduce readmission rates in hospitals
As hospitals continue to improve patient care while also reducing readmission rates, a new focus on post-discharge care has emerged.
Spurred by the COVID-19 crisis, nursing shortages and the incentive to avoid penalties, the industry became more innovative. Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) programs pair wearable devices with telehealth response capability. These programs provide frequent patient monitoring without requiring in-person visits and tests – a capability that is especially important for those who live in remote areas, those with chronic conditions and those transitioning from hospital to home. Medical professionals can evaluate daily reports and reach out to those patients with immediate issues.
Patients like Ellen could potentially avoid readmission if their medication-related issues were monitored daily to prompt appropriate intervention.
Available nurses: the critical link
The COVID-19 crisis exacerbated the nursing shortage. Many organizations simply can’t effectively expand their services beyond patient discharge due to a lack of quality virtual nursing care. A solution that enables safe, quality virtual care management without hiring additional staff can be the solution for those organizations.
For device manufacturers, providing a complete RPM program requires nurses and other healthcare providers to monitor the data their technology provides.
How Conduit Health Partners can help
Conduit can address a variety of RPM virtual nursing needs for various organizations.
- We partner with health systems, provider practices, device manufacturers and other chronic care providers.
- We offer skilled nursing services to support remote patient monitoring for chronic care management and transition of care programs.
- Our nurses provide remote physiologic monitoring, perform virtual visits and facilitate appropriate client-defined interventions.
Conduit can help you improve patient outcomes and mitigate potential issues with streamlined care and lower costs.
Why Partner With Conduit To Reduce Hospital Readmission Rates?
If your organization is interested in learning how to reduce hospital readmission rates, we encourage you to reach out and start a conversation. As one of the leading remote patient monitoring companies in the health care industry, Conduit has the resources to assist your organization in the following areas:
- Empower patients. We work with your team to better educate patients to gain greater control of their health and well-being.
- Customize solutions. We work with your existing technology and customize solutions that align with market trends.
- Early interventions to mitigate issues and reduce hospital readmissions. Virtual care enables immediate, timely interventions that can help reduce hospital readmissions, and mitigate potential issues before they get worse.
- Increase access to care. Patients receive increased access to care while limiting the need for disruptive readmissions.
- Improve quality of care and patient satisfaction. Virtual care enables safe, timely, accessible, flexible, and convenient care options to support better quality care, and improved patient satisfaction.
Learn more about our Remote Patient Monitoring services
*Melanie and Ellen are fictional people.
1 Overview of Clinical Conditions With Frequent and Costly Hospital Readmissions by Payer, 2018. HCUP Statistical Brief #278. July 2021. Accessed April 13, 2022. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD https://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb278-Conditions-Frequent-Readmissions-By-Payer-2018.jsp
2 Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Accessed April 16, 2022. https://cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/AcuteInpatientPPS/Readmissions-Reduction-Program
3 Kaiser Health News, Medicare Punishes 2,499 Hospitals for High Readmissions, October 28, 2021. Accessed April 16, 2022. https://khn.org/news/article/hospital-readmission-rates-medicare-penalties/