An effectiveness and cost-benefit analysis of a hospital-based discharge transition program for elderly medicare recipients.
J Am Geriatr Soc. 2012 Jun;60(6):1051-6
Authors: Saleh SS, Freire C, Morris-Dickinson G, Shannon T
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the business case of postdischarge care transition (PDCT) among Medicare beneficiaries by conducting a cost-benefit analysis.
DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial.
SETTING: A general hospital in upstate New York State.
PARTICIPANTS: Elderly Medicare beneficiaries being treated from October 2008 through December 2009 were randomly selected to receive services as part of a comprehensive PDCT program (intervention-173 patients) or regular discharge process (control-160 patients) and followed for 12 months.
INTERVENTION: The intervention comprised five activities: development of a patient-centered health record, a structured discharge preparation checklist of critical activities, delivery of patient self-activation and management sessions, follow-up appointments, and coordination of data flow.
MEASUREMENTS: Cost-benefit ratio of the PDCT program; self-management skills and abilities.
RESULTS: The 1-year readmission analysis revealed that control participants were more likely to be readmitted than intervention participants (58.2% vs 48.2%; P = .08); with most of that difference observed in the 91 to 365 days after discharge. Findings from the cost-benefit analysis revealed a cost-benefit ratio of 1.09, which indicates that, for every $1 spent on the program, a saving of $1.09 was realized. In addition, participating in a care transition program significantly enhanced self-management skills and abilities.
CONCLUSION: Postdischarge care transition programs have a dual benefit of enhancing elderly adults' self-management skills and abilities and producing cost savings. This study builds a case for the inclusion of PDCT programs as a reimbursable service in benefit packages.
PMID: 22690981 [PubMed - in process]