Discharge Checklist for Providers Designed to Reduce Readmissions

August 29, 2012 | Strategic Insights for Health System


In preparation for the October start of the Medicare program’s plan to penalize hospitals for certain readmissions within 30 days, a Wisconsin hospital is developing a checklist of questions for providers to answer before patients are discharged. The checklist and other strategies adopted by Milwaukee-area healthcare systems are described in an August 25, 2012, Journal Sentinel article on hospital initiatives to cut repeat admissions in light of the pending October 1, 2012, start of Medicare penalties for readmissions for heart failure, heart attack, and pneumonia patients within 30 days of their discharge. The checklist questions emphasize the need for providers to consider factors beyond the patient’s medical condition, according to comments from the physician who developed the checklist for the hospital. For example, questions covered in the checklist include: Has the patient’s primary care physician been notified about the patient’s discharge?

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