Yesterday, Fred Mogul, of WNYC, in collaboration with NPR and Kaiser Health News, reported how hospitals nationwide have implemented a variety of programs to curb costly readmissions. Starting in the fall of 2012, the Department of Health & Human Services is planning to begin penalizing hospitals for readmissions for patients discharged after experiencing heart attacks, heart failure or pneumonia. With one in five Medicare patients being readmitted to hospitals within 30 days of their initial discharge and research suggesting that 75% of these readmissions are preventable, hospitals have adopted care programs that aim to curb readmissions, improve transitional care from acute care facilities to the patient's home, and help the hospital avoid penalties from the HHS.
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If patients only knew
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