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Colorado hospitals reduce avoidable readmissions

August 16, 2013

Nineteen Colorado hospitals reduced readmissions by more than 40% in one year as part of a Colorado Hospital Association collaborative, the association announced recently. “Same cause” readmissions within 30 days of discharge dropped from 9.8% to 5.18% for target populations, while “all cause” readmissions fell from 14.9% to 8.5%. Over the 12-month period, CHA estimates the project saved $2.9 million in health care expenditures by preventing 312 avoidable readmissions. “The data clearly illustrate Colorado hospitals are making tangible progress in preventing readmissions, and it’s saving both payers and patients money in the process,” said Nancy Griffith, R.N., CHA director of quality improvement and patient safety. The hospitals implemented strategies based on a Boston University School of Medicine program called Project RED (ReEngineered Discharge), which among other steps include scheduling follow-up tests and care prior to patient discharge, confirming medication plans and following up with patients by phone. The project is supported by a grant from UnitedHealthcare.