One of the many pilot projects of health reform is to reduce the number of readmissions within 30 days of Medicare patients discharged from a hospital. The problem: it’s already been tried by the VA Health Administration and failed to lower the number of readmissions, according to a report in The Washington Post.
The Veterans Health Administration, the largest integrated health care system in the country, has long employed many of the approaches Medicare is pushing on all hospitals to reduce unnecessary readmissions. But new data show VA hospital patients are just as likely to end up back in a hospital bed as are patients at private hospitals. The new statistics underscore how hard it may be for hospitals to stop patients from rebounding back through their doors, a major goal of Medicare as it seeks to curtail the nation’s ballooning health costs.