–Manasi Kekan, MD, MS, FACP, medical director for Houston Methodist Hospital
Financial pressures to reduce 30-day hospital readmissions and improve discharge processes continue to grow. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services started by penalizing hospitals for up to 1% of their Medicare reimbursement via the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program. By 2015, the program will penalize hospitals up to 3%.
This is no longer news to the hospital C-suite. A 2013 survey reported that 85% of hospital leaders had addressed the readmissions penalty in their business plan (http://content.hcpro.com/pdf/content/296905.pdf); however, the same survey revealed that only 62% of hospital leaders reported changes to clinical protocols and practices during acute care, and even fewer were providing care navigators or coaches for high-risk patients.
That’s where hospitalists can help. Through SHM’s Project BOOST, hospitalists and hospital-based care teams improve transition from hospital to home. Project BOOST also helps hospitals identify high-risk patients and target risk-specific interventions, a critical part of reducing readmissions.
Beyond the immediate financial implications, implementing programs like Project BOOST to reduce readmissions can position hospitals as leaders for better healthcare in their communities.
“I recommend Project BOOST enthusiastically and unequivocally,” says Manasi Kekan, MD, MS, FACP, medical director for Houston Methodist Hospital. “If implemented efficiently, it could result in a ‘win-win’ situation for patients, the hospital, and the healthcare providers.”
SHM is accepting applications for the 2014 Project BOOST cohort through August 30. For details and application, visit www.hospitalmedicine.org/boost.