Federal Funding Available to Reduce Acute Care Hospital Readmissions

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By Angela Lucente-Prokop

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, nearly 20 percent of Medicare patients discharged from hospitals are readmitted within 30 days, costing $26 billion annually.  In an effort to improve healthcare quality, affordability, and safety,  the Obama Administration announced earlier this year the formation of the  Partnership for Patients, a public-private initiative between the administration and health industry leaders and patient advocates.

The Community-based Care Transitions Program (CCTP) is the cornerstone initiative of the Partnership for Patients and is mandated by the Affordable Care Act.  As part of the Partnership for Patients launch in April 2011, $500 million was dedicated to test evidenced-based models for reducing hospital readmissions.  The goals of the CCTP are to improve quality of care, reduce readmissions, and demonstrate savings to Medicare.

What are the benefits of piloting a program in your community?

  1. Improving quality of patient care and patient experience
  2. Improving related hospital performance metrics
  3. Establishing collaborations across care settings in reducing readmissions
  4. Securing funding for care transitions as a service
  5. Building agility in reducing readmissions and preparation for Health Care Reform
  6. and evolving reimbursement structures

Program awards will be made on a rolling application basis.  It is anticipated that Centers for Medicaid Services will continue accepting applications through the first half of 2012. Funding will be based on a per eligible discharge rate, the use of evidence-based models, and medical/social partnerships. The program is intended to be community driven and to cross care settings.

Eligible applicants are (1) Acute Care Hospitals with high readmission rates which partner with Community Based Organizations or (2) Community Based Organizations that deliver Care Transitions Services in partnership with Acute Care Hospitals.  Awardees are highly likely to include the engagement of sub-acute care providers.

CCTP includes an opportunity to secure reimbursement for care transitions for a period of two to five years based on performance.  If your organization is an acute care hospital and is preparing for medicare payment penalties associated with readmission rates, this may be a good opportunity to test evidence-based models in achieving needed readmission rate reductions and continuing to improve patient care.

For more information about CCTP funding opportunities or to develop an application, contact  Hill Group Consultant Angela Lucente-Prokop at alucenteprokop@hillgroupinc.com  or 412.722.1111