KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

N.C. Program Shows Promise In Reducing Hospital Readmissions

A statewide transitional care program in North Carolina may hold hope for reducing hospital readmissions in the U.S., a new study finds. In the meantime, readmissions' financial stakes become clear for one Minnesota hospital.

Reuters: Hospital To Home Focus May Reduce Readmissions: Study
Helping people who were recently released from a hospital understand how to care for themselves and informing their primary care doctors about their stay may reduce their risk of being admitted back into the hospital, says a new study. Researchers found that implementing a statewide transitional care program for North Carolinians on Medicaid -- the state and federal insurance for the poor -- was linked to a 20 percent reduction in patients' risk of going back to the hospital during the next year (Seaman, 9/2).

Pioneer Press: Re-admissions Prove Costly For Minnesota, U.S. Hospitals
As hospitals across the country struggle to prevent patient re-admissions, the stakes in Minnesota are clearest at Fairmont Medical Center -- a small hospital just north of the Iowa border that has received low marks on a federal report card for two consecutive years. … The efforts have been spurred, in part, by the federal health care overhaul of 2010, which created the Medicare penalty program. Private health insurers also have pushed hospitals to help prevent re-admissions when possible (Snowbeck, 9/2).

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