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Transitional Care May Cut Hospital Readmission Rates
Date:7/25/2011

cluded an intervention before the patients were discharged from the hospital and at least eight house calls per patient after they left the hospital.

Stauffer's team found that hospital readmission rates were 48 percent lower among patients who completed the transitional care program than those who did not. The intervention, the researchers noted, had little effect on how long the patients were hospitalized or their 60-day direct health-care costs.

"Preliminary results suggest that transitional care programs reduce 30-day readmission rates for patients with heart failure," the authors wrote. "This underscores the potential of the intervention to be effective in a real-world setting, but payment reform may be required for the intervention to be financially sustainable by hospitals."

In an editorial accompanying the study, Dr. Mitchell H. Katz, of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, concluded, "Decreasing hospital readmissions offers the hope of improving care while simultaneously reducing health-care costs."

More information

The American Geriatrics Society Foundation for Health in Aging provides more information on transitional care.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: JAMA/Archives, news release, July 25, 2011


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