Washington, D.C.—The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) today announced a month-long effort to focus attention on the national problem of people returning to the hospital soon after they are discharged and to shine a spotlight on how hospitals and communities are working to limit avoidable return trips to the hospital.
NBC Chief Medical Editor Nancy Snyderman, MD will join RWJF and other partners for a capstone event and webcast Feb. 13 at the National Press Club to celebrate promising practices of health care innovators working to improve quality and reduce unnecessary readmissions.
This is the second phase of the Care About Your Care effort, which was launched in 2011 to call attention to the spotty quality of the U.S. health care system and what providers and patients alike can do to improve care.
This year’s efforts are endorsed by more than two dozen leading public and private health care organizations, ranging from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to organizations representing physicians, nurses, hospitals, caregivers, and chronic disease patients. A complete list of partners is available online.
Almost one in five elderly patients released from a hospital is back within 30 days; more than a third are back within 90 days. Many of these return visits could be avoided, and CMS began penalizing hospitals last year for excessive numbers of readmissions.
“American hospitals suffer from a chronic malady—the revolving door syndrome,” said RWJF President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD. “Care About Your Care is our effort to put this issue on everyone’s radar. The reasons people end up back in hospitals vary widely, but we need to face this problem together as an entire health care community, not in silos.”
The month of activities designed to focus attention on the issue includes:
The event will feature, among others, Eric Coleman, MD, MPH, professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine; Mary Naylor, PhD, FAAN, RN, Marian S. Ware Professor in Gerontology and director of the New Courtland Center for Transitions and Health at the University of Pennsylvania; and Jonathan Blum, director of the Center for Medicare Management at CMS.
The event will be simulcast live on Feb. 13 at 12:30 p.m. EST. Among the observers will be representatives from Aligning Forces for Quality, RWJF’s signature program to lift the quality of care in 16 communities and provide models for national reform.
To learn more about the Care About Your Care effort, visit RWJF.org/goto/yourcare.
About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable, and timely change. For 40 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. Follow the Foundation on Twitter or Facebook.