Evaluating the State Action to Avoid Rehospitalizations Initiative, Phase 1

Award Amount: $523,843
Approval Date: July 14, 2009
Start Date: May 1, 2009
End Date: April 30, 2011
Pennsylvania State University
Principal Investigator: Dennis Scanlon, Ph.D

The State Action to Avoid Rehospitalizations (STAAR) initiative is a multipronged, effort intended to help hospitals improve their processes for transitioning discharged patients to other care settings. In May 2009, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, with Commonwealth Fund support, officially launched the program in three states: Massachusetts, Michigan, and Washington. In addition to helping hospitals and other providers improve their post-discharge support, multidisciplinary disease management, and patient education, STAAR will assist state policymakers and other stakeholders in implementing systemic changes that will sustain these improvements—for example, by requiring payers to track and report readmission rates, or by trying out new provider payment models that reward the coordination of patient services across the care continuum. As the initiative proceeds in the three states, a concurrent evaluation will be needed to identify successful approaches that can be spread to other states, as well as ineffective approaches that should be modified or abandoned.