Getting patients home safely after a hospital stay

New America Media‘s Paul Kleyman explores the effects of hospitals cutting corners when it comes to patient transitions from hospital to home, a problem his sources call one of the biggest gaps in the health care system. Citing a widely reported 2009 New England Journal of Medicine article on preventable rehospitalizations, Kleyman explains why the current transition system is both expensive and broken, then chronicles the efforts of advocates and legislators to change the system or, at the very least, fill in the gaps.

Kleyman on the latest legislative attempt to change the system:

These findings led members of Congress to introduce the Medicare Transitional Care Act of 2009. According to the bill, “Insufficient communication among older adults, family caregivers and health care providers contribute to poor continuity of care, inadequate management of complex health care needs and preventable hospital admissions.” The Act would set up demonstration projects to test ways for improving patients’ continuity of care.

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