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Aftercare Tips for Patients Checking Out of the Hospital

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  • Aftercare Tips for Patients Checking Out of the Hospital

    June 18, 2010
    <nyt_headline version="1.0" type=" ">Aftercare Tips for Patients Checking Out of the Hospital</nyt_headline>

    <nyt_byline> By LESLEY ALDERMAN

    </nyt_byline><nyt_correction_top></nyt_correction_top> According to a study published last year in The New England Journal of Medicine, one in five Medicare patients returns to the hospital within 30 days of being discharged. The problem is an expensive one: in 2004, these readmissions cost Medicare $17.4 billion dollars, the researchers also found.
    Hospital stays certainly are shorter now: the average stay was 4.6 days in 2007, down from about 5.7 days in 1993. But the readmissions problem is not simply the result of compressed care, experts say.
    . . .
    What’s more, while insurers will pay for limited hospital stays, there’s no financial incentive for hospitals to insure that patients get out and stay out. “A hospital may actually be financially rewarded for a mishandled discharge,” said Dr. Williams, chief of hospital medicine at Northwestern University. “If the patient is readmitted, they get paid again.”
    Discharge planning winds up being an overlooked issue because it “falls into the space between billable events,” said Dr. Coleman.
    . . .
    If you or a relative is hospitalized in an institution that has not recently revamped its discharge process, you may need to take an active role in managing the discharge. Here’s what you need to know to smooth the transition.

    TAKE CHARGE . . .

    CHECK THE DRUG LIST. . .

    MAKE A DISCHARGE PLAN. . .

    CONTACT THE PRIMARY DOCTOR . . .

    more at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/19/health/19patient.html
    http://novel-infectious-diseases.blogspot.com/
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