Cutting Hospital Readmission Rates

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The Patrick Administration is warning hospitals the state may stop paying for patients readmitted for preventable problems. Massachusetts has a higher rate than most states of readmitting elderly patients who relapse or have complications after a hospital stay. The state hopes to push hospitals to address the problem with better patient education and follow up care. Health and Human Services Secretary JudyAnn Bigby says she'll ask individual hospitals to review their readmission rates before the state moves to restrict payments.

We know that these are costly and they represent a lapse in the type of care that we all must strive for.

Massachusetts Hospital Association Lynn Nicholas says hospitals want to cut the number of readmissions.

I think we’re in the early stages of seeing the data and understanding what’s driving it, but there’s a great will to tackle it as an issue.

One barrier has been figuring out who pays for home visits or monitoring once patients leave a hospital.

This program aired on June 5, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.