Beginning in the fiscal year 2013, hospitals in the lowest 25% of risk-adjusted 30-day readmission performance will incur penalties against their total Medicare payments. Initially, these calculations will be based on the prior year’s readmission data for three target conditions: pneumonia, heart failure and acute myocardial infarction.
In addition, many commercial health plans have adopted, or plan to adopt, payment penalties for avoidable readmissions in their hospital contracts, in the same way they previously adopted the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)’s non-payment policies for “never events” and “preventable adverse events.”
The threat of these penalties encourages hospitals to improve two key areas in hope of reducing readmissions:
- care coordination with community providers
- patient engagement
Increasing hospital staff is not a possibility for many budget-constrained hospitals, so they’ll have to work smarter instead. Two ways to do this are 1) eliminate administrative inefficiencies associated with manually delivering clinical information to community providers and 2) employ existing nursing staff more effectively during patient interactions.
Axial helps hospitals reduce readmission rates by:
- instantly and automatically communicating clinical information to community physicians (and thereby reducing administrative waste)
- intelligently routing messages to primary care physicians, case managers and community care givers
- raising patient health literacy on conditions, symptoms and medications
- improving patient medication adherence
- improving patients’ follow-up rate for post-discharge appointments
- engaging support from patients’ family members
- assessing patient readmission risk before discharge