PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Hospitals in Medicare Accountable Care Organizations outpaced non-ACO hospitals in reducing the rate at which patients discharged to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) needed to return to the hospital, according to a new study in the January issue of Health Affairs.
When a hospital sends a patient to a nursing home, everyone’s hope is that the patient won’t have to resume acute care back at the hospital, though until recently about 1 in 4 did. To drive the rate down, Medicare has implemented measures including penalties for excess readmissions and encouraging hospitals to join ACOs in which they share an overall “bundled” payment with SNFs. This model gives providers the incentive that they can keep more profit if they reduce expensive extra hospital care. READ MORE