COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina is a leader in the national effort to lower preventable hospital readmission rates, ranking ninth in improvement among the 53 states and territories, according to Medicare claims data.
Aligning in a collaborative statewide effort, hospitals and other health care providers have reduced readmissions by 15 percent over the past two years. This means over 1,400 South Carolina hospital stays were avoided, creating a cost savings of more than $14 million.
Preventing Avoidable Readmissions Together (PART) was established in September 2012 by the South Carolina Partnership for Health and the state’s Medicare Quality Improvement Organization, The Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence (CCME).
According to Jim Deyling, president of private business at BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and board chair of Partnership for Health, stakeholders’ unique ability to collaborate has been central to the success of this effort. “The results of this initiative are noteworthy; it is especially gratifying for South Carolina to be included in the top 10 of a national health initiative. The participants of the South Carolina Partnership for Health together with the CCME came together and shared data, best practices, creative thinking and a commitment to improving the health of our neighbors. This effort showed the power of what can be accomplished when we work together to achieve a common goal,” he said.
"Reducing preventable readmissions is an important part of our statewide efforts in South Carolina to improve the quality of health care delivered to every patient. We're very pleased to see these results as we continue to focus on helping patients and families manage their health and health care and avoid a return to the hospital," said Rick Foster, M.D., senior vice president for quality and patient safety at the South Carolina Hospital Association. SCHA is also a member of the Partnership for Health.
Hospitals have found that even small steps can make a big difference in each patient’s wellbeing after discharge. For example, prompt follow-up phone calls regarding future appointments, clearer medication instructions, and better communications between all providers involved in the patient’s care are essential.
“CCME is pleased to be a partner in this important patient safety work,” said Chief Executive Officer Joy Hogan Rozman. “We applaud the strategic efforts of our state’s health care providers and community service organizations that have resulted in fewer readmissions and safer transitions of care for patients in South Carolina.”
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