Reducing Hospital Readmissions

Assisted living providers continue to see the “acuity” of their residents rise. As changes in the healthcare environment, including the push to accountable care, readmission penalties, and the desire to avoid hospitalizations, drive more care into the community setting, assisted living residents are often demanding more direct and indirect assistance with medical and nursing care. For the remainder of 2013 our Tuesday Tips will focus on practical steps you can take to safely manage higher acuity. We will begin this month by looking at ways to reduce hospital readmissions.

As we’ve discussed in previous tips, new CMS regulations are penalizing hospitals for excessive readmission rates for certain diagnosis. As a results, assisted living providers are feeling the pressure to avoid sending their residents to the hospital unnecessarily. Here are three steps you can take to reduce hospital readmissions in your assisted living community:

  1. Track your readmission rate. This will raise awareness amongst your staff and can help you track your progress. Click here for more on how to track readmission rates
  2. Utilize the INTERACT program and tools. The “Interventions to Reduce Acute Care Transfers” (INTERACT) is a quality improvement program designed to improve the identification, evaluation, and communication about changes in resident status. Click here to learn more
  3. Adopt the NCAL Quality Goals. The National Center for Assisted Living has outlined steps to reduce readmissions as part of their Quality Initiative. Learn more here.

One Response to “Reducing Hospital Readmissions”

  1. Another HUGE problem in accepting residents with higher acuity levels is that it commits you to be responsible for the care they cannot provide for themselves. AL’s now need to look at their staffing ratios to be sure this can be accomplished. Is it fair to say that most AL’s have their caregivers responsible for a high number of residents? How can a caregiver properly toilet, shave, groom, and dress 10-15 residents in the allotted time?

    I can tell you from experience that oral care is being neglected. With oral bacteria being linked to heart disease, pneumonia, strokes, brain abscesses, Alzheimer’s and now re hospitalizations, more training needs to be focused on this under looked/over looked problem.
    Here is a link to the study about oral neglect contributing to recurrent hospitalizations.

Discussion Area - Leave a Comment