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 PVSS18. Decreased Readmission Is a Phone Call Away

Heather Lee, Faisal Aziz, Judith Cook, David Han, Robert Atnip, Amy B. Reed
Heart and Vascular Institute, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, PA.
OBJECTIVES: A 3% penalty in Medicare reimbursement for patients readmitted with MI, CHF and pneumonia began Oct. 1, 2012. Recent data have documented a 24% readmission rate for Medicare beneficiaries undergoing vascular surgery, a rate second only to those patients with an index admission for congestive heart failure. We hypothesized that vascular RN phone calls to address patient concerns would help decrease readmission.
METHODS: A vascular RN received a daily discharge list generated from the electronic health record (EHR) detailing all patients discharged from the vascular service from March 1, 2012 to Dec. 1, 2012. Phone calls were made on discharge days (DD) 1 and 7. Information was collected prospectively (Table 1). Readmission rates within 30 days were compared to 2011. Chi-square test was used for comparisons.
RESULTS: A total of 568 patients were discharged during this time period with 8.8% readmitted. Readmission rate during the same months of preceding year was 14.5%. Among the discharged patients, 71.6% were successfully contacted by phone. Readmission rate for those with a follow-up phone call was 7.25% vs. 12.5% for those who did not receive one (p=0.04). Lower extremity bypass (12.9%) and major amputation (13.3%) patients were most frequently readmitted.
CONCLUSIONS: Utilization of a vascular RN for phone contact on DD 1 and 7 to address concerns appears to be an effective strategy that may help reduce readmission.
AUTHOR DISCLOSURES: R. Atnip: Nothing to disclose; F. Aziz: Nothing to disclose; J. Cook: Nothing to disclose; D. Han: Nothing to disclose; H. Lee: Nothing to disclose; A. B. Reed: Nothing to disclose.
Vascular Electronic Discharge Follow-Up Form
Posted April 2013

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