Institute of Medicine, Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century
August 7, 2019
The incidence and severity of adverse events affecting patients after discharge from the hospital
August 7, 2019

Defragmenting Care: Stephen F. Jencks, MD, MPH

Rehospitalizations that occur soon after hospital discharge are drawing increasing attention. About 2.5 million Medicare beneficiaries and about 2 million other patients are rehospitalized within 30 days of discharge, with total hospital costs (not including physician services) of about $44 billion (1; Steiner C, Jiang J. Personal communication). From the perspectives of payers, purchasers, and policymakers, avoidable rehospitalizations represent massive and remediable waste. However, most rehospitalization is the result of clinical deterioration, occurs emergently, and is often necessary by the time the patient reaches the emergency department. Some emergency department visits might be prevented from turning into hospitalizations. However, compelling evidence from a series of controlled studies (2–4), in which interventions to improve the transition from hospital to posthospital care have reduced rehospitalizations by 30% to 50%, suggests that the rehospitalization problem represents a failure of those transitions rather than willful overuse of hospital services. It is a symptom of fragmented care

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *