While the main purpose of care coordination is to ensure the delivery of the right care, at the right time, from the right person to enhance patient and client outcomes, there are added benefits to implementing its strategies at your organization - mainly increasing your return on investment, reducing operating costs, and generating more revenue.
One way, in particular, is through reducing patient readmission rates within the first 30 days of discharge from the hospital.
The Frightening Costs of Patient Readmission Rates
In today’s world of providing value-based care to patients, excessive patient readmission rates can threaten to destroy the financial health of all organizations across the continuum of care.
This stems from the Centers for Medicare & Medicare introducing new laws and regulations that penalize institutions for preventable patient readmissions within the first thirty days of being discharged from their hospital stay. These regulations are costing health systems across the United States a staggering $41.3 billion annually, as reported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
As a result, health system executives need to do everything they can to identify the causes of readmissions and create effective and efficient plans to improve patient care and programs to avoid facing these penalties.
Here’s how care coordination can help you avoid this:
Enhance Transition Planning and Communication For Patients
When a patient is discharged from the hospital, they have a treatment plan set in place to ensure the best health outcome, normally with outpatient specialty clinics or specialists. However, lack of communication between patients and providers gives no insight into how closely patients are following their treatment plans, and before you know it they have been readmitted to the hospital.
But fault can’t be placed solely on the patient. Far too often there is a breakdown in coordination between hospitals, clinics, and providers in the planning over who should be the champion and leader for the patient’s care. This leads to gaps in information between care team members, and as a result, lack of sufficient care for the patient.
Providers and patients alike can avoid this all too common issue by keeping an open line of communication between all members of the care team, to ensure that treatment plans are being followed strictly, and patients are receiving the best care, whenever and wherever they need it most.
Improving Both Patient and Caregiver Education
Another leading cause of patient readmission rates is the sheer absence of information provided to the patient both during their stay and upon discharge from the hospital.
After leaving the facility, patients and family caregivers will receive contradictory information from the myriad of providers they are in contact with regarding topics such as where they should receive follow-up treatment or proper instructions regarding the medication they should be taking or administering.
These scenarios can easily be avoided by involving both patients and caregivers in the discharge planning and care transition process as early and as much as possible. Giving patients a well-documented plan to follow, as well as who the appropriate provider to contact for each form of treatment, goes a long way in ensuring patients follow their treatment plan.
For caregivers at home and in the community, it is vital to be involved and engaged throughout the entire discharge process. To be successful in caring for patients, they must be briefed on every detail of the treatment plan so they can be an advocate for their patients. And as treatment plans are updated or changed, the caregiver should be the first one advised of any amendments to the plan so they have a clear view of what is going on.
How To Get Started With Care Coordination
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how care coordination can play a massive role in not only helping patients receive better care but for your hospital or health system see real value and ROI for your care coordination efforts.
Is your health system or physician group struggling to implement successful care coordination strategies? Have you started but are finding that your efforts are fruitless thus far? Don’t fret - we’re here to help. Download your free copy of The Ultimate Guide to Care Coordination and learn all the basics, the benefits of care coordination, the revenue your organization will see, and how it will help provide better care for your patients.