Noteworthy News

Communication and Medicare Readmissions

With all of the focus on hospital readmissions now that Medicare is penalizing hospitals for what it considers excessive readmissions of elderly patients, a new study suggests a simple reason for some of those readmissions:  poor communication.

The study – actually, more of a small, informal survey – found that readmissions can often be traced to physicians failing to give clear instructions and failing to ensure that patients have the ability to carry out those instructions and patients failing to comprehend instructions and to carry out even some of those they do understand.

The National Association of Urban Hospitals (NAUH) has long expressed opposition to penalizing hospitals based on their patient readmissions, maintaining that the distinct nature of the patients urban safety-net hospitals serve makes those patients more challenging to treat and more likely to require legitimate readmission to deal with the full breadth of their medical problems.

Read more about the importance of communication in preventing hospital readmissions in this Forbes articleiStock_000001497717XSmall.

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