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Comment & Response
August 2019

Improved Communication in Home Health Care Could Reduce Hospital Readmission Rates

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Hospital Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora
  • 2VA Eastern Colorado Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center, Aurora
  • 3Division of Health Care Policy and Research, Department of Medicine, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora
JAMA Intern Med. 2019;179(8):1151-1152. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.2727

To the Editor We read with great interest the recently published article by Werner and colleagues1 and were particularly struck by the finding that among patients eligible for postacute care either at a skilled nursing facility (SNF) or with home health care (HHC), discretionary readmissions from HHC were higher than those from SNF. We agree with the comments in the Editorial by Mor that the finding of “apparent tradeoff between increased risk of rehospitalization and significantly reduced Medicare expenditures…raises important questions.”2(615) Mor also writes that this finding suggests “inadequate quality monitoring that might be amenable to more skilled home health input.”2(615) We also believe these differences could also be related to suboptimal quality of communication between hospitals and HHC clinicians.

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