Beating The 30 Day Readmission: Why There's Little To Celebrate

Tue, 08/07/2012 - 6:24am
Shabbir Hossain, M.D.

30 day hospital re-admission rates.

It’s a statistic that keeps hospital administrators up at night. Whether you agree or disagree with the use of this statistic as a quality and reimbursement metric, if it creates change, reduces hospital re-admissions and improves patient care, then in theory I support it.

I’m reminded of Mrs G. She is emblematic of today’s chronic disease patient. She was admitted to our hospital for a congestive heart failure exacerbation, complicated by a COPD (related to her smoking) exacerbation. Throw in some poorly controlled diabetes, atrial fibrillation, depression and generalized deconditioning, this lovely 64 year old lady spent 9 days in our hospital receiving absolutely excellent care. She improved to the point where our terrific inpatient team was able to discharge her directly to home on Tuesday March 27th. From there she was in the hands of her 2 caring daughters and her outpatient doctors at my clinic. And that’s when the clock started ticking.

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