Michigan Hospitals Continue Progress to Reduce Avoidable Rehospitalizations

This guest post is by Sam R. Watson, senior vice president, Patient Safety and Quality at the Michigan Health & Hospital Association and executive director of the MHA Keystone Center for Patient Safety & Quality.

The July issue of Health Affairs featured a study that examined four states’ efforts to reduce avoidable rehospitalizations. The Michigan STate Action on Avoidable Rehospitalizations initiative mobilizes state-level leadership to improve transitions in care. Currently, the Michigan initiative and similar efforts in Massachusetts, Ohio and Washington have resulted in 148 hospitals partnering with more than 500 community groups to reduce avoidable hospital readmissions.

To date, the MI STA*AR steering committee has succeeded in aligning payer-led incentives, assisting with the creation of a standardized definition of rehospitalizations, creating a localized approach to address the unique needs of a larger city and empowering program participants with data and information representing more than 90 percent of the insured lives in Michigan. In addition, participants recently began to pilot a universal transfer form for consistency during transitions in care.

“MI STA*AR is yet another example of the power of collaboration to galvanize providers and communities to improve outcomes through better communication and coordination,” said MHA President Spencer Johnson. “These efforts and others ensure that Michigan hospitals continue to be at the forefront for providing high-quality, affordable care.”

MI STA*AR aims to reduce the number of patients who are rehospitalized within 30 days of discharge by 30 percent and to increase patient and family satisfaction with transitions and coordination of care. Sixty-five Michigan hospitals participate in the initiative, which is scheduled to run until 2013.

The initiative is co-led by the MHA Keystone Center and MPRO, Michigan’s Quality Improvement Organization, with support from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

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