QI News and Trends: Bonus Content

Description and Impact Evaluation of a Statewide Collaboration to Reduce Preventable Hospital Readmissions
American Journal of Medical Quality (07/13/2016) Meehan Sr., Thomas P.; Elwell, Anne; Meehan Jr., Thomas P.

As part of a statewide effort to reduce hospital readmissions, a Medicare-funded Quality Improvement Organization collaborated with a hospital association and several cross-continuum partners. According to researchers from Qualidigm, the interventions included data collection and analysis, statewide education on quality improvement strategies, community-specific technical assistance on collaboration approaches, and selection and implementation of interventions. Over the course of about 4.5 years, 15 communities--with 16 acute care hospitals, 119 nursing homes, 70 home health agencies, and 32 other health care or social service providers--participated in the effort. Among the challenges identified were problems with end-of-life discussions, physician engagement, and staffing. The initiative saw 30-day all-cause readmission rates in fee-for-service Medicare patients drop in 22 out of 24 hospital service areas in the state, while the statewide readmission rate had a relative decrease of about 20 percent. Overall, however, the researchers note that "the specific impact of this collaboration could not be determined because of multiple confounding interventions."

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