Elizabeth H. Bradley, Heather Sipsma, Leslie Curry, Devi Mehrotra, Leora I. Horwitz, and Harlan Krumholz
E. H. Bradley, H. Sipsma, L. Curry et al., "Quality Collaboratives and Campaigns to Reduce Readmissions: What Strategies Are Hospitals Using?" Journal of Hospital Medicine, published online Sept. 6, 2013.
Nearly 20 percent of patients are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of being discharged—a high percentage that raises concerns over both quality of care and cost. Different strategies have been proposed to reduce the need for readmissions, but it is unclear if hospitals are actually implementing them.
A Commonwealth Fund–supported survey of 599 hospitals enrolled in two prominent quality initiatives, State Action on Avoidable Rehospitalizations (STAAR) and the Hospital-to-Home Campaign (H2H), found that many of the participating hospitals are failing to fully implement recommended strategies. For example:
There are "substantial opportunities for improvement" in reducing hospital readmissions, say the authors. Barriers to implementing new strategies include organizational challenges and concerns over the potential loss of income to hospitals from fewer readmissions.