Highmark modeled the effort after a care transition program from the Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement. Page Babbitt, director of provider engagement at Highmark, identified these three steps as central to the success of the program:
Babbitt reports that the outcomes from this effort "have been fairly significant." Looking at the 68 participating hospitals over a three-year period, the overall compliance with all three steps increased from 12% in 2011 to 78% this year.
There was a 119% increase in the percentage of patients who received the medication list, a 425% increase in the percent of patients who received a transition of care plans, and an 87% increase in the percent of care transition plans that actually made it into the hands of physicians or specialists.
Meanwhile, there was a 2.8% decrease in seven-day readmission rates and a 5% decrease in 30-day readmissions. Overall, Babbitt says the participating hospitals saved almost 1,300 hospital readmissions.