ALBANY, NY, N.Y., Sept. 9, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A partnership to reduce the number of patients who wind-up back at the hospital has proven successful following a one year pilot between CDPHP and Albany Medical Center. The program, which focused on patient education, bedside support, and coordination of care after discharge, produced an impressive 40 percent reduction in the percentage of readmissions among CDPHP Medicare members at Albany Medical Center.
Hospitalizations account for nearly one-third of the nation's health care spending. While many of these hospitalizations are necessary, a large percentage are the result of patients who are readmitted because of lack of support, education, and other barriers to care. Readmissions are costly and often avoidable; Medicare alone reports spending $17.8 billion a year on readmissions that could have been avoided.
"CDPHP and Albany Medical Center are thrilled with the results of this pilot," said Dr. Bruce Nash, chief medical officer, CDPHP. "The goal of our teams is to ensure that patients receive the very best care while they're in the hospital and do not need to return after discharge. This pilot is a major step in the right direction." added Nash.
"Albany Med and its staff have been very focused on the transitions of care, including discharge from the hospital. Effective planning and communication with patients, caregivers and post-acute providers is key to reducing potentially avoidable readmissions," said Steven Frisch, M.D., Albany Med's executive vice president of integrated delivery systems and hospital systems general director. "We are grateful to CDPHP for their support in this partnership."
The health plan and hospital developed a program that allowed patients to meet with a CDPHP Registered Nurse (RN) case manager prior to leaving the hospital. The nurse case manager then follows up in the weeks ahead to ensure patients understand their discharge plan, adhere to medications prescribed, and are able to make it to follow-up appointments.
The pilot to reduce readmission rates among CDPHP Medicare members included the following key elements and results:
- Members receive a comprehensive bedside assessment by a CDPHP nurse case manager prior to discharge;
- Patients receive a weekly phone call from a CDPHP nurse case manager after discharge;
- 93% of members accepted enrollment into case management services;
- The program demonstrated a 40 percent reduction in the percentage of readmissions for CDPHP Medicare members.
Even before the program was implemented, the readmission rate of CDPHP Medicare members at Albany Medical Center was 16.99 percent, below the national average. One year later, the rate dropped significantly to an impressive 10.32 percent.
Now more than ever, hospitals around the country are paying greater attention to their readmission rates. In 2012, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) implemented the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program, which penalizes hospitals with excess 30-day readmission rates.
Established in 1984, CDPHP is a physician-founded, member-focused and community-based not-for-profit health plan that offers high-quality affordable health insurance plans to members in 24 counties throughout New York. CDPHP is also on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
About Albany Medical Center
Albany Medical Center, northeastern New York's only academic health sciences center, is one of the largest private employers in the Capital Region. It incorporates the 734-bed Albany Medical Center Hospital, which offers the widest range of medical and surgical services in the region, and the Albany Medical College, which trains the next generation of doctors, scientists and other healthcare professionals, and also includes a biomedical research enterprise and the region's largest physicians practice with more than 400 doctors. Albany Medical Center works with dozens of community partners to improve the region's health and quality of life. For more information: www.amc.edu or www.facebook.com/albanymedicalcenter.
CONTACT: Ali Skinner Director of Public Relations Capital District Physicians' Health Plan, Inc. (CDPHP) firstname.lastname@example.org (518) 605-4497
Source:Capital District Physicians' Health Plan, Inc.