In an effort to make hospital stays more effective and to ensure that released patients to a better job of taking care of themselves when they get home, more and more hospitals are dedicating nurses or therapists to the sole task of discharge planning. In addition to looking out for the best interest of the patient, hospitals are also looking out for your the interests of the hospital itself. In fact, a growing number of insurance companies are now reimbursing hospitals according to a sliding rate.
If, for instance, a patient returns to the hospital within six months after being discharged the insurance company may only pay at 70%, instead of at 100% This is true even if the patient was in for a knee surgery the first time, but comes back three months later for a heart attack. In a time when it seems like more and more procedures are considered out patient and when hospitals are limiting the number of days a patient stays for inpatient procedures, it now appears that some insurance companies are forcing all health institutions to rethink their discharge planning procedures.
By making sure that patients and their families are well educated about the doctor’s orders and the necessary follow up procedures, health experts are finding that patient readmission numbers will be less. From advice on therapeutic recreation to emphasizing the importance of rehabilitation services and other physical and occupational therapy, discharge planning can help patients be more prepared for success. In the case of patients with emphysema and other breathing disorders, the importance of thorough discharge instructions is even more important.
Does Your insurance Company Have Specific Requirements for Discharge Procedures?
As the nation anxiously awaits to see what the future of the Affordable Care Act is it should come as no surprise that insurance companies are also dealing with uncertain times. As a result, more and more companies are looking for ways to save costs and improve the health of the patients so that they do not find themselves in the hospital again and again.
Consider some of these facts and figures about the health care industry and the needed follow up care that many patients require after even a sort hospital stay:
- Residents in a skilled nursing facility may also receive occupational, physical, and other rehabilitative therapies following an illness or an accident.
- The goal of physical therapy is to make daily activities and tasks easier. For example, it may help with walking, getting in and out of bed, and going up stairs.
- Physical therapy is a type of treatment patients may need when health problems make it difficult to do every day tasks and move around.
- In addition to physical therapy, many of these specialists are also board-certified in areas such as orthopedics, geriatrics, sports, and neurology so that they can provide more specialized care.
As hospitals, insurance companies, and patients wait to see how the status of the Affordable Care Act works out, it is important that everyone do their part in figuring out what is the best way to administer and receive care so that patients recover as quickly and affordably as possible.