How Locum Tenens Help Reduce Hospital Readmission Rates

Hospitals can face harsh penalties for high readmission rates. To avoid the repercussions from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, utilize Locum Tenens clinicians.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) can penalize hospitals when patients are re-admitted for care. These penalties can cost hospitals up to 3 percent of payments from CMS. While some readmissions are unavoidable, many can be prevented with the right support, including Locum Tenens clinicians.

The Issue of Readmission Rates

In an effort to reduce federal spending, CMS fines hospitals that display high readmission rates. Despite this incentive to reduce patient readmission, about 2,600 U.S. hospitals were penalized in 2015. This amounts to approximately $500 million withheld from CMS. The current standards for these fines were addressed in the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program under the Affordable Care Act.

Currently, penalties may be applied if patients are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of their original admittance for conditions including:

  • Chronic lung disease;
  • Coronary artery bypass graft surgery;
  • Heart attack;
  • Heart failure;
  • Hip and knee replacement; and
  • Pneumonia.

Re-admission for these common issues has become a burden to hospitals across the country. Fortunately, there are solutions that these medical facilities can use to reduce the chance of receiving a penalty from CMS.

How Locum Tenens Can Help Reduce Readmission

Studies have shown that several factors can reduce readmission rates, including:

  • Following up with a physicians within 7 days of hospital admission (whether in person, over the phone, or through telemedicine);
  • Providing patients with education regarding their condition; and
  • Proper diagnosis, treatment, and care during initial admission.

Fortunately, Locum Tenens clinicians can provide the support and resources needed to allow hospitals to reduce re-admission rates.

Many physicians find themselves pressed for time. Locum Tenens workers ease this time crunch by providing extra support to busy hospitals. With this help, clinicians can better treat patients and provide them with the care they require during their initial stay. Furthermore, these temporary workers can either follow up with patients or can relieve some of the burdens that lie on full-time clinicians, thus allowing them to provide the proper follow-up care to patients.

If your hospital is looking to reduce its readmission rate, contact the National Association of Locum Tenens Organizations today. Locum Tenens clinicians can help provide excellent clinical outcomes, while also saving your organization from harsh CMS penalties.

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