ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, a 1,004-bed, academic medical center based in Winston-Salem, N.C., has chosen RelayHealth’s RelayCare for proactive hospital readmission management, to help reduce preventable readmissions, improve patient health status and reduce costs.
Hospital readmissions occur when a patient’s health requires additional inpatient treatment for the same condition within 30 days of a hospital discharge. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) estimate that hospital readmissions – many of which may be preventable – cost Medicare and Medicaid plans alone more than $15 billion annually. This amount includes increased costs to patients and other healthcare payers. In an effort to reduce costs associated with preventable hospital readmissions, CMS seeks to incent more hospitals to implement hospital readmission management programs through alternative reimbursement methods.
Hospital readmission management programs help hospitals reduce preventable readmissions. Preventable hospital readmissions occur when a patient is not able to afford to have prescriptions filled, does not fully understand discharge instructions or is confused about scheduling a follow-up visit. RelayCare hospital readmission management is a protocol-driven system that helps healthcare providers ensure – and document – that patients understand and are following discharge instructions, helps them monitor symptoms, helps ensure follow-up care is sought and more, all to help keep patients healthier and help avoid hospital readmission.
Wake Forest Baptist will use the RelayCare system to enable and document protocol-driven, post-discharge outreach to patients. The goal of post-discharge outreach is to reduce readmissions by ensuring patients understand their discharge instructions, make and keep necessary follow-up appointments, have the medications they need and are taking them properly and have access to any post-discharge services they need, such as home care or in-home oxygen.
Kim Carrison, Wake Forest Baptist director of physician and community health access, said, “Wake Forest Baptist is committed to the health of our patients. Thanks to the outstanding care our professionals provide, the health system already works hard to keep readmission rates low and has implemented a successful orthopedic hospital readmission management program.” Carrison continued, “We’ve identified that the greatest number of readmissions occur in the general medicine population where patients have multiple comorbidities. The RelayCare hospital readmission management module will help us implement a more robust, protocol-driven patient call-back program. By documenting multiple patient touch points and helping ensure patients are adhering to their discharge instructions, we expect to lower our preventable hospital readmission rate. After general medicine, we will work with our cardiology service line to implement a cardiology hospital readmission management program.”
Jim Bodenbender, president, RelayHealth Connectivity Solutions, said, “Health systems are always seeking ways to make a positive impact on the healthcare of their communities, and post-discharge follow-up is key to preventing readmissions.”
Bodenbender continued, “As our nation’s healthcare system looks for increased accountability and shared financial risk from providers, hospitals and health systems will turn to hospital readmission management programs to avoid preventable readmissions. We are fortunate to work with Wake Forest Baptist and support their efforts to enhance healthcare quality while reducing redundancies.”
About Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is a fully integrated academic medical center located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The institution comprises the medical education and research components of Wake Forest School of Medicine; the integrated clinical structure and consumer brand Wake Forest Baptist Health, which includes North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Brenner Children’s Hospital; the commercialization of research discoveries through the Piedmont Triad Research Park; as well a network of affiliated community-based hospitals, physician practices, outpatient services and other medical facilities. Wake Forest School of Medicine is ranked among the nation’s best medical schools and is a leading national research center in fields such as regenerative medicine, cancer, neuroscience, aging, addiction and public health sciences. Wake Forest Baptist’s clinical programs are consistently ranked among the best in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
RelayHealth, McKesson’s connectivity business, enables the secure exchange of clinical, financial and administrative information between patients, providers, payers, pharmacies, pharmaceutical manufacturers and government agencies. RelayHealth processes nearly 15 billion healthcare transactions annually as the result of integrating the delivery of high-quality care and improving the financial outcomes for its customers. For more information, call 888.743.8735, or visit our Web site at www.RelayHealth.com. Follow us on Twitter (@RelayHealth) or visit the RelayHealth Facebook page.
Lynne Durham, 770-237-7506
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