New CMS series aims to reduce hospital readmissions

May 31, 2016 | Hospital Finance Efficiency

As part of the movement to value-based care, more hospitals and other health care providers are looking for ways to cut out costly habits that indicate poor care, like unnecessary readmissions. Currently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is working on a series of "Hospital Improvement and Innovation Networks" that aim to offer solutions for improved patient safety and reduced hospital readmission rates.

This new series will work as a part of the CMS's Quality Improvement Organization, and hopes to decrease patient harm 20 percent and 30-day hospital readmissions 12 percent, compared to numbers from 2010.

"The further integration of work across these influential networks will permit the continued and increased systematic use of proven practices to improve patient safety and reduce readmissions, at a national scale in all U.S. hospitals," Patrick Conway, the chief medical officer of CMS wrote on the organization's official blog. 

"Further progress is necessary."

Conway cited a 2014 survey from the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality that found a 39 percent decrease in preventable patient harm in 2014 compared to 2010. He also pointed out the lives and resources this reduction has saved, approximately 87,000 lives and $20 billion in costs. Conway referred to these as impressive results, though he stressed that further progress is necessary.

This is just one way that providers can work to improve care quality and lower readmission rates. Another is to better educate staff, on both medical and administrative sides, to make sure that they understand what's expected of them and how to adhere to certain policies, all while making sure they're administering the best possible care.

For training materials, seminars and other resources to strengthen your staff and improve your financial efficiency, contact Professional Medical Services today.