Hospitals face penalties if patients quickly return

  • Article by: MAURA LERNER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 13, 2012 - 9:49 PM

Medicare will reduce payments to those with high patient readmission rates.

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RhondagriepAug. 14, 12 1:35 AM

So hospitals are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Insurance companies want them to send patients home pronto but if there is a problem and the patient returns, the hospital is penalized. Who is making up these stupid rules?

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jeebers76Aug. 14, 12 2:11 AM

GOOD! It's about time the hospitals started getting consequences for poor service! I remember Fairview Riverside hospital in the Cities was horrible; they didn't give a damn, just gave you drugs and sent you on your merry way, no therapy, no advice, nothing.

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ch1979Aug. 14, 12 8:29 AM

Rhondagriep "So hospitals are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Insurance companies want them to send patients home pronto but if there is a problem and the patient returns, the hospital is penalized." Except the "insurance company" in this scenario is Medicare, so they are saying do NOT send them home too early. Get it right the first time.

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mija83152Aug. 14, 12 8:49 AM

But, what to do about the patient who chooses not to follow medical advise and use meds correctly?? Do they not have a part to play in the game? How do they end up with being held accountable for part of the waste that they generate??

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msonnebornAug. 14, 12 9:59 AM

All insurance companies would rather pay for one admission rather than two -- most have learned that getting patients out too early ends up costing them more.

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julann98Aug. 14, 1211:02 AM

ch1979: There isn't an open checkbook with Medicare, there are utilization rules and procedures that are followed. You simply can not keep a patient as long as you want. No plan works that way. We need to look at rushing out clients, and also the assumption that there is someone at home that can help take care of the patient after the hospital discharges them. Not everyone has help or family that can help. I agree with Rhondagriep, this is a no win for hospitals.

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actualreaderAug. 14, 12 2:46 PM

Well, sending my 80-year-old father on a 6-hour ride home from the hospital with what we already suspected was a bladder infection resulted in daily lab visits and home nursing for a couple weeks as his clinic struggled to control his bleeding. Blood thinners + systemic antibiotics resulted in him bleeding freely from his surgical site, as well as anywhere he'd gotten a needle entry. Something tells me the system could have saved itself a lot of money by just waiting for a urine culture.

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rharperAug. 21, 12 1:39 PM

Not surprising to see Fairmont as the #1 in turnover of the elderly. Watch Mayo put their own spin on this too. They are now suggesting that the new "hospitalist" method is their best form of service for the patient. Buyer beware; things get overlooked; continuity of care is lacking; patients get sent home too soon because the checks and balances system now longer exists between the family physician and the hospital.

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mnmaggiemnAug. 23, 12 2:51 PM

I am fine with it as long as we can know a difference between a hospital at fault or a patient not listening to orders.

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