CMS pilot project shows promise in reducing readmissions

The Care Transitions Project, a pilot project by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that aims to reduce unnecessary readmissions, is showing dramatic preliminary results, according to Thomson Reuters.

The article states that the project focuses on making seamless transitions for patients being discharged home or to a nursing facility, by coordination of care with all health care providers, family members, and caregivers involved in the process.  The facilities involved were given suggestions on how to do this, through initiatives such as follow up phone calls, transition “coaches”, and improving patient’s understanding of medications that they are discharged with. 

Preliminary results indicate that some hospitals have been able to reduce readmissions by 15%, while others on the bottom tier struggle to reduce readmissions.  CMS indicates that the preliminary cost savings are dramatic, but not ready for release.

(Sources: The Advisory Board Daily Briefing, http://advisory.com, June 17, 2011; Thomson Reuters, http://healthcare.thomsonreuters.com, June 14, 2011; CQ HealthBeat, http://www.cq.com/, June 14 (subscription required))