Primary care follow-up within 7 days of hospital discharge reduces readmissions, costs


New research published in JAMA suggests that primary care follow-up within seven days of hospitalization is associated with fewer Medicaid readmissions.

In a single year, the American population had a collective hospital bill of $ 381 billion. Readmission rates have added an additional $ 16 billion to health care costs each year. To cope with skyrocketing costs and in an effort to improve the quality of care, the CMS Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP) was developed. Although there is still a debate on whether hospital readmission rates have really improved under the HRP.

The researchers, led by Dawn Wiest, PhD, of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, set out to determine the effectiveness of their 7-day engagement program, which aims to avoid hospitalizations in the city of Camden, New Jersey, by “removing barriers to rapid follow-up in primary care after patients are discharged from hospital.”

In this retrospective study, Wiest and colleagues assessed hospitals with more than 2,500 readmissions between January 1, 2014 and April 30, 2016. They linked claims from four separate health systems to patient lists from insurers who were also primary care patients based in Camden. care practices to determine hospital use before and after discharge.

A total of 1,531 files were classified according to the time of the primary care appointment after discharge from hospital. Discharges followed by a primary care appointment within seven days of discharge were matched by propensity.


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