Coordinated care can cut unnecessary hospital readmissions, but it's up to hospitals and healthcare providers to take a bigger role in the initiative, according to a new report by the nonprofit coalition Northeast Business Group on Health (NEBGH).
While many readmission reduction efforts are underway in the marketplace, few, if any, have the shared data analytics, integrated care models, robust employee outreach and communication, and the economic sustainability features necessary to reduce readmissions, the report said.
"To really move the needle on readmissions reduction, stakeholders need to pool their resources and engage in pre-planned management activities that would better identify patients at high risk for readmissions and lead to more efficient use of clinical support resources from both health plans and health systems," Jeremy Nobel, M.D., executive director of the NEBGH's Solutions Center, said in a statement.
"Reducing Hospital Readmissions through Stakeholder Collaboration," which includes input from 67 executives from employer organizations, health plans, hospital systems, suppliers and other stakeholders, recommends a series of strategies providers can use to align their readmissions initiatives. The steps will help hospitals better identify patients at high risk for readmissions, engage patients through education and communication and establish a mutually accountable environment that doesn't just penalize hospitals for unnecessary readmissions.
A multi-stakeholder cooperative care model must encompass three requirements, according to the report:
Collaboration in clinical outreach and care: Use assets to identify high-risk patients and support them through the transition of care process.
Business sustainability: Make sure the chosen financial model is sustainable. Ask questions that address payment, resources, incentive and return on investment.
Employee engagement and communication: Fully communicate with staff and caregivers and encourage them to embrace new activation models.