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Post-Acute Care Staff Must Address Preventable Factors that Can Lead to Hospital Readmission

The rate at which older adults in post-acute care (PAC) facilities are readmitted back into the hospital due to an adverse event is far too high. According to the Office of the Inspector General, 22% of all hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries discharged to post-acute care facilities are victims of an adverse event that sends them back to the hospital. 60% of the adverse events were found to be preventable with better care procedures, such as enhanced medication reconciliation and more vigilant patient monitoring. Residents in post-acute care facilities who experience hospital readmission are less likely to return to the community. Is it crucial that rate of readmissions from post-acute care is significantly reduced.

A recent study published in The Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine found that the strongest risk factors that make residents vulnerable to readmission include impaired functional status, markers of increased acuity such as need for intravenous medication in post-acute care, and for-profit post-acute care ownership. Moreover, patients who experience an adverse event that results in readmission were found to have a higher mortality rate at 30 days and 100 days even after the researchers made adjustments for age, comorbidities, and prior health care use.

Post-acute care facilities must be able to identify and address preventable factors that can lead patients to readmissions in order to maintain their quality of life and not hinder their chances of reintegrating back into the community.