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Transitional Care Hospitals' Role in Reducing Readmissions

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Published on Apr 30, 2012

My name is Sean Muldoon, I am a pulmonologist and preventive medicine physician, and the CMO of Kindred Healthcare's hospital division. Reducing readmissions has been a goal of every clinician since the study on Hospital Readmissions by Steve Jencks, Eric Coleman and Mark Williams appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine in April of 2009. By now, every hospital is working on strategies to reduce readmissions.

For many patients, judicious use of post acute care can help. Medicare data shows that following a hospitalization, about 35% of patients use post acute care. While most physicians are familiar with the nursing home option, fewer know about the country's 450 Long Term Acute Care Hospitals.

Licensed, certified and accredited to the same high standards as the largest academic hospital, LTACHs provide hospital level care, often including intensive care, along with rehabilitation services to maximize function in patients who require acute care for weeks rather than days.

National data shows that the readmission rate from LTACHs is about one-third lower than from nursing homes in spite of the less stable, higher acuity LTACH patient population.

Finding ways to reduce costly hospital readmissions by leveraging our long term acute care hospitals is just one of the ways Kindred Healthcare is advancing post acute care medicine across the country.

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