A recent Associated Press article examined efforts by hospitals to reduce preventable hospital readmissions. The article did not mention efforts by health plans that have proven to reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and readmissions.
Health plans have prioritized reducing readmissions and have put in place programs and services to help patients get appropriate follow up care and avoid unnecessary trips the hospital. Research clearly demonstrates these programs are working. For example, a number of studies show that patients in private Medicare Advantage plans have significantly lower hospital readmission rates than those in the fee-for-service part of Medicare (where one in five patients are readmitted within a month of discharge). The reason for this is because health plans are in a unique position in that they work with patients throughout their entire interaction with the health care system. As such, they are able to provide a variety of support services, including helping schedule appointments, sending medication reminders, helping to arrange transportation, and more.
For more information on health plans’ efforts to reduce preventable hospital readmissions, check out: Preventing Hospital Readmissions – What You Need to Know