Hospitals Trying to Reduce Patient Return Rates

Posted: Sep 16, 2013 1:16 PM by The Associated Press

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SPRINGFIELD (AP) - Springfield's Cox South Hospital is using a new program to determine the risk of a new cardiac patient returning to the hospital for more treatment within 30 days.

Anyone found to be at high risk of returning gets extra treatment, such as personal meetings with a pharmacist or nutritionist.

The new program, in the hospital's cardiac and pulmonary sections, is part of an effort to keep recently discharged patients from returning too soon. The Springfield News-Leader reports Cox wants to reduce its readmission rates by 20 percent.

That program is in response to the federal health reform law. Cox is one of 55 hospitals in Missouri facing new penalties from the federal government for readmitting too many Medicare patients within 30 days of their discharge.

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