Mark V. Williams, MD
Professor and Chief of the Division of Hospital Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Details and lessons learned from Project BOOST, a Society of Hospital Medicine-sponsored program that seeks to improve the care of patients as they transition from a hospital to another facility or to home, were shared with Clinical Impact Symposium participants by project leader Mark V. Williams, MD, Professor and Chief of the Division of Hospital Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.
Williams was an investigator on a 2011 New England Journal of Medicine study looking at rehospitalizations among patients in the Medicare fee-for-service program. The study found:
Miscommunication each time a patient is transferred between healthcare teams – from a hospital to post-discharge homes or their own home, for instance – can create more medical problems, lead to costly hospital readmissions and endanger lives.
Interspersing his passion for dealing with this problem with flashes of humor, Dr. Eric Coleman described his Care Transitions Program. Its primary goals include:
It’s based on forging partnerships by:
There are so many patient education pamphlets sent home with the patient, they could be “used as an ottoman” -- but Coleman questioned whether they are used by the patient. In the hospital, healthcare workers do things for the patient around the clock, “but then after 14 minutes of ‘education’ just before release, they go home and have to do it themselves... Imagine what it’s like to be this person with no health professional around,” he said.
“Care transitions across the continuum” is the focus of this year’s Kindred Clinical Impact Symposium, and the topic could not be more timely or important, according to Kindred’s Chief Executive Officer Paul J. Diaz, and its President and Chief Operating Officer Benjamin A. Breier, who welcomed the symposium’s 400 participants this morning.
In today’s healthcare environment, putting patients and residents in the right place at the right time is imperative, Kindred’s leadership said. Baby boomers are aging, creating a stress on the American healthcare system, and government and healthcare organizations are calling for the management of patients at a lower cost. We are seeing moves toward reducing costly readmissions to acute care hospitals, and managed care and pay-for-performance models of healthcare delivery.
Senior vice presidents of each of Kindred Healthcare’s four divisions welcomed participants this morning with reminders of why they were at the symposium in Louisville.
“It’s all about the care -- each therapist, each nurse, each dietary worker working together for patient-centered care,” said Mary Van de Kamp, Senior Vice President, Clinical Operations – RehabCare.
After 30 years in health care, Bonnie Austin, Senior Director of Compliance – PeopleFirst Homecare and Hospice, described how she had the nagging thought that “something’s just not right” in the industry because caregivers were sending patients home with instructions “that were just impossible to be carried out.” There must be a better way.
The 2012 Clinical Impact Symposium, Care Transitions Across the Continuum, is officially under way! Over the next two and a half days, we expect to hear the latest evidence-based information from some of the top experts in the nation on topics including new resources for improving patient transitions between facilities and to the home.
We’ll hear from the inventors of new initiatives to improve care transitions and they will share success stories and challenges from several markets across the country, from Las Vegas to Massachusetts. We’ll learn about interactive and new technology tools designed to make the process easier and more effective, with the goal of providing better quality care while reducing cost and rehospitalizations.
Entitlement reform is a hot topic in this election season and no matter your political position or ideas about it, for post-acute providers this brings to light the issue of payment models and the question of how long the current volume-based payment system (the current revenue model) will continue.
Entitlement reform may fail, in which case the existing fee-for-service systems will continue. It may be enacted, with implementation expected over the next decade, but with reforms for post-acute care beginning as early as five years post-enactment. Either way, payment pressures will continue; pay-for-performance and value-based purchasing models will likely be implemented; private payers will continue to move toward integrated care and integrated payment models; and single site providers will be at the greatest risk while non-institutional providers such as home care will be favored.
The 2012 Presidential and Congressional elections were built up over the last year to be historic – and they certainly delivered regardless of one’s political inclinations. It was certainly the most expensive election cycle in history. But now the election is over and we must assess what it means for Kindred and our efforts to advance common-sense legislative and regulatory reforms in the best interest of the care we provide to our patients, residents and clients.
Kindred Healthcare’s fourth annual Clinical Impact Symposium, “Care Transitions Across the Continuum,” will be held in Louisville from November 12-15.
This year’s symposium will offer the latest evidence-based information from some of the most widely respected experts in the nation as well as interactive conference style offerings, hands-on skills demonstrations and trade show exhibits.
The audience for the symposium is made up of caregivers from all four Kindred divisions – Hospital Division, Nursing Center Division, RehabCare and Homecare and Hospice. The goal is to enhance clinical practice in the post-acute continuum and maintain Kindred as a leader in clinical excellence.
Speakers at the symposium will include:
Come back to this blog throughout the conference as we will cover the conference live with interactive blog posts, pictures, and video.
Kindred sees the future of healthcare as highly interconnected – from one provider to another – and linked with patients, their families and caregivers.
Better use of new technology to coordinate healthcare and achieve improved outcomes and patient experiences is widely regarded as the wave of the future and a necessary evolution in our field. The government has a long history of supporting this as a goal. Starting in 2009 with the HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) Act, there has been significant funding allocated to this movement. HITECH provides money for organizations to improve and augment technology – a multi-billion dollar investment in the hospitals and doctors that serve the nation’s patients. There are now minimum requirements for Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and standards for the moving of clinical information as a patient transitions from provider to provider.
November is National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month. In the United States, 5.4 million people are currently living with Alzheimer's disease. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., and the only cause of death among the top 10 that can’t be prevented, cured or even slowed. These facts are mirrored in the 2012 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures Report.
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