How Senior Transitional Care Helps Prevent Hospital Readmissions

Posted by Machelle Thompson on Jul 28, 2015 8:56:00 AM

senior-transitional-care-helps-prevent-hospital-readmissionAfter your loved one has gone through knee replacement surgery, hip replacement surgery or another medical procedure at the hospital, transitional care helps them return home with reduced risk of a hospital readmission.

Your senior’s hospital discharge care plan should provide support in the form of at-home care and appointments with medical professionals. Advanced home care is often the preferred form of transitional care because it allows for flexibility in how often a caregiver visits the home but still ensures your loved one is looked after properly.

Whether you choose to place a caregiver in your senior’s home or rely on periodic support from medical professionals, transitional care is vital for your senior’s health during recovery from surgery or an illness. Learn more about how transitional care may prevent your loved one from returning to the hospital after a discharge.

Reducing The Risk Of A Hospital Readmission

In order to provide the support your loved one needs, transitional care plans help to sustain the progress they have already made in the acute hospital. Many families are unprepared to provide the necessary care during their loved one’s recovery, and a return visit to the hospital is often the result.

Hospitals prefer that patients have a care plan in place because each hospital is graded by Medicare on their bounce-back rates. A high number of returning patients negatively affects a hospital’s reimbursement from Medicare. For this reason, hospital staff usually support the decision to choose comprehensive transitional care for your loved one upon discharge.

Studies Suggest Transitional Care Prevents Hospital Readmissions

Providing your loved one with transitional care greatly improves their recovery process. Your senior may benefit from some of the following effects of transitional care:

  • Improved health outcome
  • Avoidable readmissions
  • Enhanced patient satisfaction
  • Increased family satisfaction

A study conducted by HealthTexas Provider Network and Baylor Health Care System  tested the outcome of transitional care programs for patients with heart failure and found promising results. Patients aged 65 years or older were tested upon discharge from Baylor Medical Center at Garland between August 24, 2009 and April 30, 2010.

The study compares the effects of transitional care programs 30 days after discharge, the effects 60 days after discharge, readmission rates for any cause and length of stay. Researchers found that transitional care was successful in reducing 30-day readmission rates for aging adults with heart failure.

While the study included patients who received only one weekly visit or phone call as their form of transitional care, seniors who are under the care of an in-home transitional care provider may experience even more success in avoiding hospital readmissions due to more individualized attention.

When your loved one is recovering from illness or an injury after a hospital discharge, it is recommended that you work with hospital staff and your loved one’s physician to develop a care plan that meets your senior’s health and lifestyle needs.

Geriatric Care Managers (GCMs) are another helpful resource when you have questions about the necessary components of your senior’s transitional care. Don’t hesitate to reach out when your loved one needs support at home. Contact a GCM today.

Seeking expert advice on developing a care plan for your loved one? Learn about at-home care and other senior care options.

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