Q: What percentage of Medicare hospital patients are referred to home care?
Historical referral patterns and availability of alternative sites are two factors that affect this percentage on a case-by-case basis.
Hospitals with sub-acute or rehab units, for example, may have a bias in their discharge process to keep beds in those units full. A review of individual hospitals and markets shows at least a 50 percent swing in either direction from the national statistic. That’s why hospital management shouldn’t be concerned with national or market averages, but rather with best practices.
A study performed by Healthcare Market Resources on hospital claims data showed that hospitals with best practices discharged more than 100 percent of the national average to home care for the top 25 DRGs. By getting more patients into a supervised setting, such as home care, these hospitals are successfully reducing their risk of Medicare patient readmission.
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