Consider a Hybrid Program to Reduce Readmissions

Consider a Hybrid Program to Reduce ReadmissionsApril 21, 2015 by Vickie Anenberg

There are many different programs available to reduce readmission rates. While each has its own approach, one consideration that could prove to be a viable option for your hospital is to merge two entirely different methodologies.

On one side, there are programs that have nurses leading the care management team through using medical interventions. The other side of this equation focuses on case management, with leadership provided by social workers. Both types of programs have exhibited a degree of success.

However, Steven Counsell, MD, writing for Hospitals & Health Networks, says that merging these two methodologies may be the real key to dealing with costly hospital readmissions. In his article, Counsell wrote, “One solution that is beginning to gain noticeable traction is a kind of hybrid between these two approaches; it involves a high-intensity, care-team approach outside of the hospital setting. The key to such a program is a unique and specially trained support team headed by both a nurse practitioner and a social worker who, in tandem, support the primary care physician in fully addressing a patient's health conditions and achieving a patient's goal from the comfort of his or her own home.”

He continued by presenting the benefits such a hybrid program could produce. “In addition to reducing hospital readmissions, such a program can bring two other measurable values to a hospital. First, it can reduce hospital length of stay because physicians, including hospitalists, are more comfortable sending a patient home sooner (or to home instead of a skilled nursing facility) if they are confident that such intense post-acute care coordination is in place. Second, this type of program can be of significant value as the industry moves from fee for service to value-based pricing. Here, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, under its Five-Star Quality Rating System, rewards acute care hospitals with incentive payments for the quality of care they provide to people with Medicare.”

Dr. Counsell is a professor and director of the geriatrics program at Indiana University School of Medicine, and president-elect of the American Geriatrics Society. He concluded his article by stating that as the population ages, a hybrid program could be the most cost-effective approach to providing quality care. Today, there are roughly 35 million Americans 65 or older, and this number is expected to more than double by 2030. You can read the entire text of the article here

No matter what program your hospital implements to reduce readmissions, your quality care and patient satisfaction depend upon quality staffing. Cross Country Staffing has been helping hospitals to improve the level of care they provide and increase patient satisfaction for over 35 years. We specialize in working with our partners to meet their most diverse staffing challenges. Cross Country Staffing has developed unique workforce solutions proven to manage the most complex staffing needs. Talk with us. We provide measurable results.