First Medicare-approved transitional care center opens for business

The first Medicare-approved, third party transitional care provider began taking patients this month. But it won't be long before other healthcare providers focus exclusively on this type of service.

Newport Beach-based Global Transitional Care (GTC) provides transitional care to patients who are recovering at home after discharge from a hospital or another inpatient medical setting. Its goal is to prevent a return trip to the hospital, The Orange County Register reports.

Transitional care focuses on clinical oversight and care coordination and is limited to a 30-day post-discharge period--the focus of Medicare's crackdown on excessive readmissions. Providers at GTC arrange follow-up appointments and check in frequently with patients.

"I think this is the first of many programs we will see in California and across the nation," Gerald Kominski, Ph.D., director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, told the publication. "This kind of program is exactly what Medicare needs to be doing."

Studies show that patients who receive transitional care are less likely to experience a readmission in the first year following discharge than patients who received standard care.

GTC already has partnerships with 15 healthcare providers and is seeking more alliances. A registered nurse makes initial contact with the patient while he or she is in the hospital and a nurse practitioner conducts an at-home assessment after discharge. The patient has access to the care team 24/7 for the next 30 days.

Medicare has approved GTC to serve seven California counties, according to the article. The provider expects it will soon receive approval to expand into two other counties and hopes to expand into North Carolina by the end of the year.

To learn more:
- here's the Orange County Register article

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