Feds Credit QIO-Led Readmission Decreases

Federally-funded efforts by Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) to engage communities to improve care transitions are having a demonstrable effect on the nationwide decline in hospital admissions and re-admissions, according to experts at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in Baltimore, MD (CMS). Writing in a current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the authors reference a scholarly article published last year in the same journal that found “significant reductions” in Medicare 30-day hospitalizations and re-hospitalizations in 14 communities in which IPRO and other QIOs led care transitions campaigns, when measured against control communities. Beginning in 2011, QIO-led care transitions programs were expanded to more than 400 communities in 53 states and territories. “Early results indicate that the interventions implemented by communities, clinicians, and other stakeholders are scaling successfully to reduce hospitalization rates for the individuals they serve,” according to the authors. They also credit concurrent care transitions programs undertaken in 100 communities across the nation, funded under the Affordable Care Act. The authors suggest that additional research is necessary to better understand the relationship between reductions in rehospitalization and increases in observation stays. They note that the frequency of observation stays “can vary by 7-fold between states.” “Quality Improvement of Care Transitions and the Trend of Composite Hospital Care” appears in the March 12, 2014 edition of JAMA. Its authors include Traci Archibald, MBA and Patrick H. Conway, MD, MSCE of CMS. Visit JAMA at www.jama.com.