Reducing the Risk of Readmission

By: AvMed News AvMed News

When one of your patients is admitted to the hospital, a smooth recovery should be the next step. A big part of that recovery is follow-up care. 

After a patient is discharged from the hospital, he or she should schedule a follow-up visit as quickly as possible – ideally within seven to 30 days of discharge. Research has shown that patients who undergo follow-up care within that time frame are significantly less likely to be readmitted. 

Here are some best practices you can follow:

  1. Work closely with your scheduling team. Consider holding some appointment slots open for recently discharged patients. Whenever a patient calls to schedule a visit, your team should ask whether he or she has been recently discharged in order to prioritize him or her. You may also want to send out reminders to patients so they follow through with their visits. 
  2. Use the first followup visit to review the patient’s history. You know your patient best. If his or her medical history suggests readmission is a likely probability, work with your patient to address these issues during the first follow-up visit.
  3. Recap any instructions at the end of your visit. It’s important that your patients understand all of your instructions before leaving your office. If they understand why you’re prescribing a particular medication and how they’re supposed to take it, they’re more likely to adhere to the treatment plan. Encourage your patients to ask questions, too.  

Have questions about preventing readmissions? Call the AvMed Provider Services Center at 1-800-452-8633. The Provider Services Center is open from 8:30 pm to 5 pm, Monday to Friday (excluding holidays). You can also get in touch with the Center by sending an email to Providers@AvMed.org.