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June 4, 2014

Reducing the Trauma of Hospitalization

Author Affiliations
  • 1Institute of Health Policy Management and Evaluation, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto
  • 2Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital
  • 3University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 4Section of Cardiovascular Medicine and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine
  • 5Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Yale-New Haven Hospital
  • 6Department of Health Policy and Management, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut
JAMA. 2014;311(21):2169-2170. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.3695

US health policy analysts and payers are currently focused on the high rate of hospital readmission for patients who have been recently discharged. This issue is a particular concern for people older than 65 years and thus has become a focus of Medicare, which has implemented incentives to reduce 30-day readmission rates. Hospitals that fail to meet targets will be financially penalized.1 Acting on common sense, rather than evidence and a firm understanding of the causes of readmission, many suggest that rates could be reduced if hospitals only increased efforts to improve transitional care. Work began with greater attention to the cause of hospitalization and also on improved communication at the time of discharge and shortly thereafter.

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