NEWS HEADLINES

Wise Regional aims to reduce readmissions

By Messenger Staff | Published Saturday, May 31, 2014

Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government places a heavy emphasis on forming alliances to avoid return hospitalizations as a means to improve the quality of patient care and lower Medicare program spending.

Improving transitions of care, reducing readmission, and improving patient outcomes are the cornerstones of the initiative that Wise Regional looks to address to better meet the needs of the communities we serve.

Wise Regional Health System is continuing discussions with Skilled Healthcare, a national nursing home organization with two facilities in Fort Worth, to lease their two Fort Worth facilities and establish operating licenses for the services provided there.

In return, Wise Regional would contract with Skilled Healthcare to continue managing the day-to-day operations. Wise Regional will also proceed with a “due diligence” review of the facilities in Fort Worth.

In the event that this relationship is brought to completion, it would enable Wise Regional to work directly with other major hospitals located in the hospital district of Fort Worth to develop systems to improve the continuum of patient care from one facility to another.

“A health system problem in today’s environment is that hospitals are often isolated providers of care,” said Steve Summers, CEO, Wise Regional Health System. “Long-term care facilities play a vital role in building an effective continuum of care for Wise Regional patients. Our goal is to develop relationships that support positive clinical integration with nursing homes and other organizations addressing care after discharge from the hospital.

Summers said Wise Regional wants to build alliances.

“Similar agreements between other organizations have shown positive outcomes,” he said, “such as fewer patient hospital readmissions, shorter hospital length of stay for patients transferred to nursing homes and fewer cancellations of tests and surgeries for patients transferred from long-term care.

“We need to establish greater coordination of resources of nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, hospices, home health agencies and other providers to meet the needs of our patients. This is one of the steps in that process.”

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