Population Health: Cutting Admissions and Readmissions

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Health Affairs has reported that population health programmes set up to reduce hospital admissions may also cut readmissions.

Following a study into Medicare data from 2010 and 2013 on changes in rates of admission and readmission, researchers found a strong link between a low  30-day number of admission and readmission rates. This was in spite of the fact that communities that experienced drops in admission rates had more hospitalised patients who were in poor health.

Lead author Kumar Dharmarajan, M.D., an assistant professor of cardiology at Yale School of Medicine, said the research showed that communities could do a good job of improving both population health and outcomes after hospitalisation.

“These goals are not in conflict,” he said. “The results demonstrate how efforts to improve population health and strengthen patients’ social support impacts the entire continuum of care.”

Doing the right thing for the patient in one setting seems to help in other settings as well he added.

See Also: PHM Confused Implemention Strategy

The findings of the research suggested that the approach could be used in several settings although the work focused on older patients.

Healthcare media has reported regularly on the slow adoption of population health programmes by hospitals in spite of firm evidence that it can contribute to improvement of patient care.

Early this year, Numerof & Associates polled more than 300 healthcare leaders and spoke to 100 decision-makers in the sector on their transition progress to  value-based care models. Most respondents said they were just testing the waters.

"We expect the push to value will only continue to accelerate, while the 'wait and see' approach that many organizations have adopted is highly risky," Rita Numerof, Ph.D., president of the firm, said in an announcement about the findings.

A ‘wait-and-see’ stance is stagnating widespread adoption according to a recent survey in FierceHealthcare owing to animosity between hospitals and payers. In the survey, it was evident that clinicians regarded population health with scepticism compared to the wider healthcare sector.

Source: FierceHealthcare
Image Credit: Pixabay

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Published on : Mon, 11 Jul 2016

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