Informing Medicare's Strategies to Reduce Hospital Readmissions

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<p>When it comes to limiting the need for costly hospital readmissions, changes to economic incentives may not be enough to encourage rapid, widespread improvement, according to a <a href="/publications/journal-article/2013/feb/turning-readmission-reduction-policies-results-some-lessons">new article</a> published online by <em>Population Health Management</em>. </p><p>Recently, Medicare began financially penalizing hospitals with higher-than-expected readmissions for heart attacks, congestive heart failure, and pneumonia. But whether this push is successful may depend largely on a high level of collaboration among all the providers that care for patients―from hospitals to rehabilitation facilities to home care providers, the Commonwealth Fund–supported researchers say. Led by Pennsylvania State University's Jessica N. Mittler, the authors examine the early experiences of participants in the State Action on Avoidable Rehospitalizations, or STAAR, initiative―a three-state, four-year improvement effort spearheaded by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). </p>
<p>In a <a href="/blog/2013/effect-medicare-readmissions-penalties-hospitals-efforts-reduce-readmissions-perspectives">Commonwealth Fund blog post</a> also published today, IHI's Mara Laderman, Saranya Loehrer, and Douglas McCarthy discuss findings from interviews conducted with STAAR participants about the potential impact Medicare’s penalties will have on hospitals, as well as ways to make the new program more effective. </p>
<p>Visit <a href="/publications/journal-article/2013/feb/turning-readmission-reduction-policies-results-some-lessons"></a> to read more. </p>