It used to be that hospitals behaved like restaurants. Once a patron eats a meal and pays their bill, they walk out the door and the restaurant’s responsibility to provide a great product and service ends. In today’s regulatory environment, however, patient care doesn’t end when a patient checks out of the hospital.
No health care provider ever wants to see a patient return to the ER or their office due to complications from a prior illness. But emergency room rebounding and hospital readmissions happen, and it’s up to healthcare leaders to understand how and why to fix the problem.
You won’t get much argument from leaders at provider organizations about the damages—both financial and clinical—caused by preventable hospital readmissions. Every year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is hit for $17.5 billion for readmitted Medicare patients.