There is an ongoing national struggle to lower healthcare spending. And although there are many contributing factors to these high costs, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services are working to address one in particular: unnecessary hospital admissions and readmissions.
Many times, a nursing home feels they do not have the staff needed to handle medical problems. They also deal with the ever present fear of litigation. Also of concern are the lack of communication tools to facilitate instant communication with a resident’s physician should their health take a rapid turn for the worst. As a result, older adults are often admitted to the hospital for “observational purposes” even when the true medical concern is small. The best defense nursing homes feel they have is admitting their patients.
Hospital readmission rates have a big effect on healthcare spending. Because of this, Medicare has started to penalize hospitals with high readmission rates. Some hospitals are fighting back by not releasing nursing home residents to facilities that have high incidences of resident readmission.
Forbes’ article, “How Can We Keep Nursing Home Residents Out Of Hospitals”. It explains how important it is to work towards resolving these issues, and the potential money that could be saved with more efficiency in the system.
Judie Rappaport, President & Founder
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