New research presented at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting (ARM) revealed effective ways to reduce hospital readmissions and repeat emergency department visits.
“As health system leaders struggle to respond to myriad policy and market demands, we’re seeing a growing demand for evidence that responds more effectively to health systems’ questions,” said Dr. Lisa Simpson, president and CEO of AcademyHealth. “Studies presented at this year’s Annual Research Meeting are prime examples of how our field is examining how care can be delivered more effectively and efficiently.”
Key studies on this topic at this year’s ARM include:
- Psychiatric Emergency Department Recidivism Following Rapid Expansion of Community Mental Health Services
The cost of a single visit to the emergency department (ED) is estimated to be nearly $2000, according to the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. Reducing repeat visits is therefore an opportunity to reduce substantial costs. Research from the University of California, Irvine, University of California, Berkeley, and Oregon State University highlights the importance of after care in the non-urgent setting once patients are discharged from the ED. Their study examined cross-sectional time series data for 7.8 million psychiatric outpatient ED visits from the State Emergency Department Database and found that an increase in mental health services provided at community health centers corresponds with a decline in repeat psychiatric emergency department visits. This decline concentrates among those with less severe mental illnesses.
- The Early Impact of the CMS State Innovation Model Initiative on Hospital Readmissions Among Adults with Diabetes
With new incentives in place in the Affordable Care Act, health systems are looking for innovative ways to deliver better quality care, rather than quantity. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) State Innovation Model (SIM) Initiative funds state efforts in this area, and one key metric is readmissions. Examining data from nine states, researchers from the University of California, Berkeley found that the CMS SIM Initiative modestly reduced 30-day readmissions among adults with diabetes in the early implementation period. Authors note that future research should examine SIM effects over the 4-5 year implementation period.
For more information about featured studies, please visit academyhealth.org/arm/pressroom.