Angie SzumlinskiUncategorized

  1. The State of Michigan began a pilot project last year aimed at reducing hospital readmissions.  This month the project is expanding to all of Michigan’s 144 hospitals according to the Michigan Health and Hospital Association. The goal of the project which is being coordinated by Keystone Center for Patient Safety & Quality and The Michigan Peer Review Organization (MPRO) is to reduce avoidable readmissions by 30 percent, saving millions of Medicare dollars and improving quality and patient safety.
  2. A study performed at Brown University suggests that there is growing evidence that the transfer of residents with Nursing Home Acquired Pneumonia (NHAP) results in little to no improvement in overall mortality or morbidity when compared with residents treated in the nursing home. 
  3. Beginning October 2012, hospitals that are not in compliance with the provisions in the Federal Health Care Reform Bill will not be reimbursed for certain patients readmitted within 30 days of discharge. 
  4. Nearly 20% of Medicare hospitalizations are followed by readmission within 30 days.
  5. 90% of re-hospitalizations within 30 days appear to be unplanned, the result of clinical deterioration.
  6. 75% of readmissions were preventable, adding $12 Billion/year to Medicare spending.
  7. Only half of the patients re-hospitalized within 30 days had a physician visit before readmission.
  8. 19% of Medicare discharges are followed by an adverse event within 30 days—2/3 are drug events, the kind most often judged “preventable.”

What is behind all the publicity with hospital readmissions?  Why are acute care hospitals putting so much emphasis on the INTERACT program?  As providers we are all aware of the inherent risks associated with re-hospitalizing the frail elderly.  It is no surprise that studies suggest that there is little to no improvement in outcomes related to hospitalizing a resident with pneumonia.

As providers what should we be doing to reduce our re-hospitalization rates?  How can we make a difference for our residents?  Many organizations have found that early detection of a change in a resident’s condition can avoid re-hospitalizations.  Although there are many ways to accomplish this goal, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has supported the INTERACT program to assist in decreasing the need for re-hospitalizations.  INTERACT is a quality improvement program designed to improve early identification, assessment, documentation and communication about changes in the status of residents in skilled nursing facilities.  The INTERACT program has three basic types of tools, 1) communication tools, 2) care paths or clinical tools and 3) Advance care planning tools designed for use by members of your team.  The goal of INTERACT is to improve care and reduce the frequency of potentially avoidable transfers to the acute care setting.

There is a reason that CMS has made the decision to promote the use of INTERACT and it is considered a best standard for identifying change in resident condition.  The INTERACT website has recently updated to version 3.0.  The beauty of this program is that there is no cost to you!  So what are you waiting for?  Take a look at the program today and enjoy the benefits of this value added program!  Your residents, caregivers, families and referral sources will thank you!  If you should have any questions or need additional support in implementing the INTERACT program please contact your HealthCap Risk Manager or call 734.996.2700.  Let’s keep our residents “home”!