Reducing Hospital Readmissions: The Way Forward

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<p>While acknowledging the limitations of Medicare's penalty for "excess" hospital readmissions, leading health policy and improvement experts say it provides a valuable foundation for building a better policy down the road—one that is useful for improvement, fair for accountability, and above all, responsive to patients' needs. </p><p>A <a href="/publications/issue-briefs/2013/sep/hospital-readmissions-measuring-improvement-accountability-and">new issue brief</a> from The Commonwealth Fund and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement highlights the key issues underlying the controversy surrounding Medicare’s hospital readmissions penalty, which even detractors agree has increased focus on the need to improve coordination of care for patients leaving the hospital. </p>
<p>The brief also describes a possible framework for enhancing the readmissions measurement system to more broadly reflect patients’ experiences, ensure that health systems won’t eliminate necessary hospital care, and reflect how instrumental care coordination and community interventions are to health outcomes. </p>
<p>Also be sure to visit the <a href="… Affairs</em> blog</a> for a related new post on this topic by authors Clifford Marks, Saranya Loehrer, and Douglas McCarthy. </p>