Costly Readmission of Seniors to the Hospital Can Often be Prevented

Proper Implementation of Discharge Plan and Medication, Coordination of Follow-Up Care, Attention to Nutrition Are Key

May 17, 2012 // // LOS ANGELES – Hospital readmissions have become a serious issue for seniors and their families. The good news is most of these readmissions can be prevented by paying careful attention to aftercare instructions.

Steve Barlam, Chief Professional Officer of LivHOME, explores the specific steps that families and caregivers can take to avoid post-discharge readmissions in Episode 29 of The Senior Care Podcast by LivHOME. He also looks at the broader implications of readmissions, which have become a significant issue for hospitals, insurers and seniors themselves.

Overall, Barlam says, 1 in 3 seniors are readmitted to the hospital within 90 days of discharge and three-quarters of all readmissions are preventable.

“Preventable hospital readmissions among seniors usually result from confusion about the discharge plan and medications, a lack of follow-up with primary physicians, the absence of home health support and equipment, and insufficient attention to nutritional needs. It’s therefore crucial for seniors’ family members and caregivers to understand the discharge plan and ensure its proper implementation. Similarly, they should know what red flags might signal a health problem, and have emergency contact information on hand,” Barlam says.

“In addition to cost concerns, preventing non-essential readmissions is extremely important because the hospital environment is disruptive and not necessarily conducive to health and well-being. Germs and viruses are prevalent, care can be fragmented, and privacy and comfort are minimal,” Barlam adds.

The episode, Hospital Readmissions, can be found at The Senior Care Podcast’s homepage, Listeners can subscribe via RSS feed, email or through the iTunes store. It has a run time of 13 minutes, 28 seconds.

About LivHOME

LivHOME is one of the nation's largest providers of professionally led at-home care for seniors. The company is dedicated to finding solutions that enable older adults to remain in their homes as long as possible. Based in Los Angeles, LivHOME delivers high quality at-home care throughout California as well as Arlington, Va., Atlanta, Austin, Tx., Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, and Silver Spring, Md. LivHOME franchise locations are available across the U.S.



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