NY QIO-Led Pilot Helps Albany Hospitals Reduce Avoidable Readmissions

Avoidable rehospitalizations can harm patients and place unnecessary strain on the providers and organizations that care for them. Looking to identify successful interventions for reducing avoidable rehospitalizations, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) selected IPRO, the QIO for the State of New York, as one of 14 QIOs to participate in a 2008-2011 Care Transitions pilot project.

The results of the national pilot show that interventions aimed at improving care transitions—when patients move from one care setting to another, such as from a hospital to their home—reduced rehospitalizations for Medicare patients by almost six percent in the communities participating. A less expected result was that Medicare beneficiaries in the communities also experienced a 5.74 percent reduction in hospitalizations over the two‐year period. The project’s success was documented in the January 23/30, 2013 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The community-based approach coordinated by IPRO and other QIOs in the study was markedly different from commonly used hospital-based approaches to improve care transitions, which have often focused on interventions among patients with a specific disease or in a specific hospital unit.

In its work with the Albany community, IPRO achieved 5.1% reduction in re-hospitalizations for more than 68,000 Medicare beneficiaries, and reduced hospitalizations by 5.46%.