We thank Schermer and colleagues for their interest in our article.1 In a recent study of fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries, half of the patients who were rehospitalized within 30 days did not have a physician visit between the time of discharge and rehospitalization, suggesting that one of the reasons patients ended up back in the hospital was lack of needed follow-up care.2 Addressing preventable hospital readmissions has been a top priority for health care stakeholders, policy experts, and lawmakers.3 Moreover, the recently enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 20104 requires Medicare to establish a hospital readmissions reduction program beginning in 2013.
Sharma G, Kuo Y. Relapse After Hospital Admission for COPD: Are Routine Outpatient Follow-up Visits the Way to Go?—Reply. Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(8):782–790. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.146
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