Hospitals have been dreading it for a while now—studying and preparing and experimenting. But the time has finally come. This month, Medicare started penalizing them for high readmission rates, hoping to force improved care.
The thing is, hospitals have been working on this issue for a while now, and preventable readmissions are still happening. But there are things you can do on your own that improve your own odds for a successful recovery.
One thing is just not to leave the hospital in the first place—well, too early anyway. The Consumer Reports blog, which focused on the readmission fines last week, lists some signs you shouldn’t go home from the hospital:
Usually the sooner you get home the better. But you shouldn’t be discharged if you feel disoriented, faint, or unsteady; have pain that’s not controlled by oral medication; can’t go to the bathroom alone; have trouble urinating or moving your bowels; or can’t keep food or drink down.
There are also many things you can do once you get home to prevent readmission, such as taking all those medications correctly and keeping your follow-up appointments.
And of course we’re always here to help, from the hospital to the home and throughout recovery, with Smooth-Transition Care, because too often, the things you should be doing are just too overwhelming to get done. And that’s what lands you back in the hospital bed
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