Community effort pares hospital readmissions

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 - Hospital at night

A community-based initiative in California trimmed hospital readmissions and saved about $32 million in medical costs, according to a report at an April 24 conference. The Avoid Readmissions through Collaboration (ARC) project announced April 24 that participants reduced readmissions by 11 percent over a two-year period.

Funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the California HealthCare Foundation, ARC provides a collaborative community for hospitals and outpatient facilities to assess and implement evidence-based interventions that are designed to lower readmissions. It is based on a partnership between Cynosure Health and the California Quality Collaborative (CQC) in San Francisco. Bruce Spurlock, MD, executive director of Cynosure Health, and Diane Stewart, senior director of CQC, lead the project.

Participating institutions share in the goal to reduce 30-day and 90-day hospital readmission rates 30 percent by the end of 2013. At the ARC-sponsored Beyond Hospital Walls conference in Oakland, presenters announced that San Francisco Bay Area hospitals lowered hospital readmissions by 11 percent in 2011 and 2012 compared with 2010.

“We still have work to do to reach our 30 percent reduction goal,” said Pat Teske, RN, MHA, ARC implementation officer, in a release. “But we can all be proud that ARC and our partners are leading the way to improve patient health and reduce medical costs.”