You may have seen yesterday’s Mercury News article about hospitals being penalized for having high patient readmission rates. The article reported that 30 Bay Area hospitals will forfeit a small percentage of Medicare funds this year due to their too-high rates of patient readmission.
While we’re proud to report that Santa Clara Valley Medical Center was NOT included on the list of hospitals with excessive readmissions, we want you to know that is an important issue VMC takes seriously. The leadership and providers at VMC have made concentrated efforts to improve patient outcomes, and those efforts are paying off!
Some say that penalizing hospitals who see a larger number of poor and uninsured patients isn’t fair, because they tend to have higher rates of readmissions… but I think we can all agree that ALL hospitals should be working as hard as they can for better patient outcomes, and at VMC, the proof is that it CAN be done – even in a medical center that sees the largest number of low-income, underinsured members of our community.
Every hospital is trying to curb unnecessary readmissions. There are a number of complex reasons a patient may be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of discharge, including lack of a discharge plan or the quality of a patient’s post-discharge care. Whatever the reason, the federal government considers readmission rates to be an indication of the quality of care patients receive at a facility, and we want every patient who visits VMC to receive the best care possible.
Reducing readmission rates is critical to VMC receiving Medicare funding, but to the hardworking folks at VMC, it’s not just about the money. VMC’s providers are working to reduce patient readmission rates because it’s the right thing to do… and because it’s what’s best for patients.
If you haven’t had a chance yet, check out the article, and let us know what you think!