"It might be a hard message (for a hospital executive or discharge planning team) to hear. You're telling me, a coach, a personal trainer, is going to be involved in my hospital's discharge process? That's a radical concept. And it's further underscored by the fact that these CBOs usually have no track record, no history of providing services in direct partnership with hospitals."
CMS spokeswoman Griffith Cohen clarified the eligibility requirements: "An eligible CBO can partner with any acute care hospitals in its community and is not limited to those on the file," she wrote. But CMS will give "some preference to applications that include at least one hospital from the high readmissions" list.
"Our preference is for a model with one CBO working with multiple acute care hospitals in a community and we will only accept a partnership of two (one CBO and one acute care hospital) in a rural area where there are no other hospitals to include in the partnership," she said.
It's hard to know whether meaningful programs will get off the ground if the money doesn't flow through hospitals to do it. But this effort should definitely be given the chance. But hospitals, alone, haven't been successful in the past. The fact of the matter is, Brock is right. What drives people back to the hospital is often not medical. And these non-medical programs might have a chance to fix that.
Maybe it will, as Hillary Clinton memorably said, take a village.
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