Bill aims to cut hospital readmission rates

A Senator from Colorado has introduced a bill intended to cut down on hospital readmission rates by improving after-hospitalization care and follow-up Medicare patients receive.

The Medicare Care Transitions Act of 2009 would create a national network of community-based transitional "care coaches" tasked with helping patients self-manage their condition and medications. They'd do this by providing personal follow-up care and helping patients transition from one care setting to another. Ideally, these coaches would improve care quality and cost-effectiveness while reducing readmission rates.

If the bill can achieve its objective, it could make a significant impact. According to one recent study, unplanned rehospitalizations for Medicare beneficiaries accounted for $17.4 billion of the $102.6 billion Medicare paid hospitals in 2004.

To learn more about this bill:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece

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