Reduce Re-Hospitalization Rates for Seniors by up to 50%
Susan “Sam” Miller, co-owner of Lynnwood, WA based CareForce, Inc. announced today that Care Transition InterventionSM (CTISM) services will be available for purchase by the public for the first time anywhere in the United States on September 1, 2009. CareForce, a family owned home care company, is the first non-Medicare funded provider to become authorized to use the Care Transition InterventionSM. Research has shown that CTISM significantly reduces the rate of re-hospitalizations for seniors with complex care needs. Approximately 20% of Medicare beneficiaries discharged from a hospital are re-admitted within 30 days after leaving inpatient care, according to an article published by The New England Journal of Medicine (April 2, 2009). The CTISM becomes the flagship offering in CareForce’s innovative CarePack® service line.
A recent front page article in the Wall Street Journal (July 28, 2009) highlighted the importance of the issue of hospital readmissions today. “The government spends an estimated $12 billion a year on “potentially preventable” readmissions for Medicare patients, according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, an independent congressional agency. U.S. leaders are trying to reduce such costs as they wrangle this week over how to retool the country’s health-care system. Though private insurers also pay for readmissions, these charges are especially prevalent among the elderly covered by Medicare.”
This is an all too familiar issue with older adults and chronic illness. For example: Mrs. Jones has just been discharged from the hospital after a bout of congestive heart failure. She quickly recovered while in the hospital and went directly home. Within three weeks, she was back in the hospital. Why? Due to the stress and confusion of her hospital stay, Mrs. Jones continued to take her old prescriptions while at home, instead of changing to her new prescriptions and she did not make a follow-up appointment with her doctor.
While a variety of different approaches are being tried to resolve the readmission problem, the Care Transitions ProgramSM has consistently been recognized as a leader in reducing expense and improving quality outcomes. Dr. Eric Coleman and his team at the University of Colorado, Denver, developed the Care Transition Model with sponsorship from the John A Hartford Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. While many other approaches involve a person or team from a hospital to act for the patient to improve moves from hospital to home, the CTISM differs by “coaching” patients and their families in the use of tools and techniques that promote self-management of their condition and their care transitions.
The Care Transitions ProgramSM is consistent with both Medicare Advantage and Medicare fee-for-service financial incentives. It promotes better performance on new accreditation standards aimed at post-hospital care. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services currently has contracts to launch the Care Transitions InterventionSM at 14 sites nationwide, including Whatcom County, Washington.
Ms. Miller states “As a member of the Geriatric Professional Network at the University of Washington De Tornyay Center on Healthy Aging, I became very interested in care transitions several years ago. Dr. Coleman’s model has always appealed to me as very consistent with the CareForce Mission “To improve the quality of care for vulnerable people.”
“CareForce believes that the cost savings and quality of care benefits of the Coleman Care Transitions ProgramSM should be attractive to private clients who want to take more control of their health care and who prefer staying in the comfort of their own home, rather than return to a hospital for care. Starting September 1, 2009, our RN’s will be available to provide Care Transition InterventionsSM at a very reasonable price. We are very excited.”