Fisher: Readmission Problem Needs a Teaching Hospital Solution

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media , September 29, 2011

Wednesday's Dartmouth Atlas report targets a failure to reduce hospital readmissions and places 94 academic medical centers in its crosshairs, disproportionately heaping more blame on them than on community hospitals.

Between 2005 and 2009, "Academic medical centers made limited and uneven progress in improving care," the report says. "These findings suggest that even some of the largest and most technologically sophisticated hospitals in the country over the five-year study period face considerable challenges in improving care for the elderly."

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But the nation's teaching hospitals did not have higher rates of readmission than community hospitals, and regional variation was just "somewhat higher."

So I asked Elliott Fisher, MD, director of the Dartmouth Institute's Center for Population Health: Why pick on them? Fisher is an architect of the accountable care organization  and other concepts embedded in the Affordable Care Act.

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2 comments on "Fisher: Readmission Problem Needs a Teaching Hospital Solution"

Kathy Wire (9/30/2011 at 2:16 PM)
I loved this interview and article. I wish that all risk managers for academic centers could see it. Cudos for speaking up about filling beds with unnecessary surgeries for which the hospital and physician get paid way too much. That elephant in the living room needs to become the centerpiece of much conversation.

D. Todd Detar, DO (9/30/2011 at 9:39 AM)
Academic centers need to have a total system of care in order to reduce these numbers and open access system which involves all levels and not just specialists.




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