Hospital readmissions have been a hot topic in the healthcare industry for some time now.  Everyone agrees that hospitalizing nursing facility residents can disrupt continuity of care, diminish quality of life and consume a sizeable portion of Medicare spending.

Readmission rates are a key component to several health care initiatives including Accountable Care Organizations, Bundled Payment Programs, and Value-Based Purchasing Programs to name a few.  In addition hospitals will be penalized for readmissions for patients with Acute Myocardial Infarction, Congestive Heart Failure and Pneumonia under provisions of the Affordable Care Act which establishes the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program and requires CMS to reduce payments to IPPS hospitals with excess readmissions, effective for discharges beginning on October 1, 2012.

So it is easy to understand why Skilled Nursing Facility’s readmission rates will become a key indicator that hospitals will use to measure SNF performance.   Given that nursing facility residents are generally hospitalized in response to a confluence of factors, what can be done to lower readmission rates?

Functional Pathways is committed to partnering with our clients in an effort to decrease readmission rates and help facilities be competitive in the marketplace.

Stay tuned to future entries on this blog regarding details for best practice recommendations utilizing American Medical Directors Clinical Practice Guidelines and INTERACT II tools and also read Marketing and Clinical blog entries on the Functional Pathways website for how therapy services can be a strategic player at your Quality Improvement table as you take the journey to identify and decrease your facility’s readmission rates.

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