Media Statement from Amedisys Chief Medical Officer on Johns Hopkins Hospital Study “Challenges in Posthospital Care: Nurs

Patient medication management via in-home nurse visits could mitigate hospital readmissions

BATON ROUGE, La.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Amedisys, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMED), one of America's leading home health care and hospice company’s in the U.S., agrees with the Johns Hopkins Hospital study, “Challenges in Posthospital Care: Nurses As Coaches for Medication Management.” In this study nurses tracked 25 chronically ill patients after their hospital discharges to observe their self-management habits and provide transitional care intervention via telephone follow-ups and in-home visits.

The study revealed that home visits discovered 62 percent more medication discrepancies than telephone interviews.

“Having a registered nurse visit a patient during the transition from hospital to home, to coach them on healthy behavior and proper medicine-taking habits can reduce hospital readmissions,” said Michael Fleming, MD, FAAFP and Chief Medical Officer for Amedisys. “At Amedisys, we employ the Care Transitions method, which includes medication-management education as part of an overall, independent health-management strategy for our patients. Our Care Transitions approach – including education about their chronic illness, why they landed at the hospital, how to better manage their health including their medication regimen – begins before patients leave the hospital and it continues after they arrive back home,” Fleming said. “Amedisys has a team of Care Transition Coordinators that are nurses in 45 states across the country trained to help people make sense of all the medicine bottles and dosage instructions they’ve been given, and help them establish healthy regimens that positively impact their health status and quality of life.”

In 2004, readmission costs to Medicare for unplanned rehospitalization were estimated to be $17.4 billion. The National Quality Forum and other health care leaders are concerned that readmission rates, or the “billion dollar U-turn,” appear to be related to inadequate handoffs and transitions.

Amedisys has been a strong advocate for the role of nurses in health care and is an innovator in providing a care model for chronically ill patients that combines the traditional home care structure with communications technologies and enhanced clinical capabilities. Amedisys’ Care Transitions process identifies discrepancies and communication gaps in the transition from acute hospitalization to home, mitigating unnecessary readmissions.

The Johns Hopkins Hospital study “Challenges in Posthospital Care: Nurses As Coaches for Medication Management” showed that in-home visits by nurses can detect and prevent many of the problems that result in poor health and readmissions. This reinforces the benefits of Care Transitions and helps to encourage the shift to this type of health care.

Other noteworthy findings from the Johns Hopkins study include:

  • None of the patients could find their discharge instructions, resulting in unintentional nonadherence to doctor’s discharge orders
  • Contacting participants after discharge was challenging since the participants did not have reliable home phone service
  • Several family members often share in the responsibility of providing care to the patient, resulting in confusion in schedules and responsibilities, since no one family member is coordinating care
  • Patients were confused about medication instructions, especially for drugs that had taper, start and stop dates, as well as when multiple prescriptions were involved

“The in-home, nurse-led model of health care, or Care Transitions, leads to better health outcomes and less wasteful readmission costs. We stand ready to work with policymakers, government leaders, health care researchers and others in the health care field to make this approach to health care more accessible to everyone,” Fleming added.

About Amedisys:

Amedisys, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMED) is the nation’s leading health care company focused on bringing home the continuum of care. Each day Amedisys delivers personalized health care services to more than 35,000 individual patients and their families, in the comfort of patients’ homes. Amedisys has two divisions, home health care and hospice, and employs more than 16,000 skilled clinicians across the country. The Company’s state-of-the-art advanced chronic care management programs and leading-edge technology enable it to deliver quality care based upon the latest evidence-based best practices. Amedisys is a recognized innovator, being the first in the industry to equip its clinicians with point-of-care laptop technology and referring physicians with an internet portal that enables real-time coordination of patient care seamlessly. Amedisys also has the industry’s first-ever nationwide Care Transitions program. Amedisys Care Transitions is designed to reduce unnecessary hospital readmissions through patient and caregiver health coaching and care coordination, which starts in the hospital and continues throughout completion of the patient’s home health plan of care. For more information about the Company, please visit:

This press release includes statements that may constitute “forward-looking” statements, usually containing the words “believe”, “estimate”, “project”, “expect”, “anticipate” or similar expressions. Forward-looking statements inherently involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. Many of the factors that could cause or contribute to such differences are described in the Company’s periodic reports and registrations statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and include, but are not limited to the following: general economic and business conditions, changes in or failure to comply with existing regulations or the inability to comply with new government regulations on a timely basis, changes in Medicare and other medical reimbursement levels, ability to complete acquisitions announced from time to time, and any financing related thereto, the ability to meet debt service requirements and to comply with covenants in debt agreements, adverse changes in federal and state laws relating to the health care industry, demographic changes, availability and terms of capital, ability to attract and retain qualified personnel, ongoing development and success of new start-ups, ability to successfully integrate newly acquired agencies, changes in estimates and judgments associated with critical accounting policies, business disruption due to natural disasters or acts of terrorism, and various other matters, many of which are beyond management’s control. By making these forward-looking statements, the Company undertakes no obligation to update these statements for revisions or changes after the date of this release.

Our company website address is We use our website as a channel of distribution for important company information. Important information, including press releases, analyst presentations and financial information regarding the Company is routinely posted on and accessible on the “Investor Relations” subpage of our website, which is accessible by clicking on the tab labeled “Investors” on our website home page. We will also use our website to expedite public access to time-critical information regarding the Company in advance of or in lieu of distributing a press release or a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) disclosing the same information. In addition, we make available on the Investor Relations subpage of our website (under the link “SEC filings”) free of charge our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, ownership reports on Forms 3, 4 and 5 and any amendments to those reports as soon as practicable after we electronically file such reports with the SEC. Further, copies of our Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws, our Code of Ethical Business Conduct and the charters for the Audit, Compensation and Nominating and Governance Committees of our Board are also available on the Investor Relations subpage of our website (under the link “Corporate Governance”).


Amedisys, Inc.
Jacqueline Chen Valencia, 225-295-9688
[email protected]

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  Louisiana

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Health  Hospitals  Nursing  General Health  Managed Care