News Headlines Article

Reducing unplanned senior readmissions
The Stanford Daily

If all’s well that ends well, then it’s not too much of a stretch to think that all’s unwell that ends badly. This is especially relevant when we talk about ensuring the wellness of our seniors — both throughout and at the end of their lives — and in this regard, something’s rotten in the state of health care.

Seniors already face a number of issues in our existing healthcare system, including unplanned hospital readmission, which results in poorer mental and physical health consequences. According to “Our Parents, Ourselves: Health Care for an Aging Population,” a report published this month by the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care, 16.2 percent of Medicare beneficiaries were readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of discharge in 2008. The figure decreased to 15.5 percent in 2012. The modest dip could be attributed to the implementation of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, which stipulated that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid financially penalize fee-for-service hospitals demonstrating higher-than-expected rates of readmission.