Alliance for Health Reform Releases New Toolkit on Hospital Re-admissions
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
by: VNAA Policy Team

Section: Public Policy and Advocacy

The Alliance for Health Reform has developed a new Toolkit on hospital readmissions. On October 1, 2012, hospitals were subject to a financial penalty for readmitting a Medicare patient whom had been admitted within the past month. Early data shows readmissions have already begun to fall. According to Medicare, in 2012 17.8 percent of discharged patients were readmitted within 30 days, down from 19 percent in 2011.

The Toolkit includes: 
  • An explanation of the penalties included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
  • Key facts about hospital readmission rates and costs 
  • Information on community-based care transitions programs
  • Links to news articlesand reports explaining and analyzing the issue 
  • A list of health care experts who understand the issue and its implications
Roughly 2 million Medicare patients are readmitted to the hospital within one month of departing, costing the federal government billions of dollars. Until the ACA, hospitals had no incentive to reduce these readmissions as they were paid for every patient admission, regardless of how often the patient had been admitted.

Hospitals are now held accountable for the readmission of patients diagnosed with a heart attack, heart failure or pneumonia. The law imposes penalties on hospitals in the form of up to 1 percent reduced reimbursement in their rates. The policy remains controversial despite the decreases in early readmissions.

Click here to access the Alliance Toolkit.
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