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Medicare, NW Denver Partners Launch Care Transitions Project
Date:6/15/2009

Effort Focuses on Preventing Hospital Readmissions

DENVER, June 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Northwest Denver consumers and healthcare providers will be introduced later this month to a federally-funded initiative that aims to reduce hospital readmission rates by improving patients' healthcare transitions.

"Currently over 16 percent of patients discharged from NW Denver region hospitals are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days," noted Jane Brock, MD, Medical Officer at the Colorado Foundation for Medical Care (CFMC). "A 10 percent readmission rate is considered unavoidable, so we know we can do better than a 16 percent rate."

It's important Brock and her project partners achieve improvement because readmissions are not good for the health of patients and they are extremely costly to the tax-payer-supported Medicare program.

The project in NW Denver is one of only fourteen such community efforts in the U.S. The project is being launched in Colorado with a kickoff meeting at 5 pm on June 29 at the Wheat Ridge Recreation Center, 4005 Kipling Street.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has contracted with CFMC, Colorado's healthcare quality improvement organization, to engage community partners including providers, patients and families in the project through 2011. Local project co-sponsors include Exempla Lutheran Hospital, Centura St. Anthony Central Hospital and Physician Health Partners.

"Collaborating with our partners in NW Denver to improve care transitions is one of our most exciting projects," said Brock, "and a perfect fit with our goal to assure that all patients get the care they need in the right setting and at the right time." Studies across the county have demonstrated that there are potential gaps in communication and coordination when patients transition from one setting or aspect of care to another, resulting in hospital readmissions,
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SOURCE Colorado Foundation for Medical Care
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