Evidence-Based Paper on Hospital Readmissions
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For this assignment you will find an active piece of state or federal legislation impacting some aspect of healthcare. You will then become the lobbyist who must advocate for or against the legislation. This means you must understand the intent and implication of the bill to effectively communicate your position to legislators and other stakeholders. Lobbyists often use a tool called the “one pager.” This document is no more than one page (typically front and back) that explains an association’s position on the legislation. As you prepare this assignment consider the following:
This MUST be original work. You will likely find one pagers on the legislation you discover. Do not copy and paste ideas or structure.
Create a mock association to support or oppose the selected legislation. Develop a name, who this organization represents, and a one sentence goal/mission statement.
The one pager must be two pages of content.
What is the background for the proposed policy change (what problem is the bill trying to solve?)
What does the legislation do? This must be written in easily defined terms.
What is the legislative history? (Who introduced the legislation, who cosponsors the legislation, is it bipartisan, what committee has it been referred to?)
Who supports the legislation?
What are the cost savings, if any?
What are relevant data and statistics?
Include a request. Do you want the member of Congress to become a co-sponsor?
Eye catching. Congressional staff appreciate data and statistic, particularly if they are in the form or charts, graphs, or tables.
Evidence-Based Paper: Solution
Over the last one decade, health care institutions have experienced an increased number of patient admissions due to high prevalence of lifestyle diseases. As such, hospitals strive to provide excellent services through advanced technology in order to achieve better patient outcomes. Nevertheless, some medical institutions have not been able to provide adequate and quality health services. This situation leads to increased cases of patient readmission (Makary and Daniel 2). Consequently, people spend up to 40% more money on treatment, while hospitals waste resources and fail to meet their performance standards (Boozary, Manchin, & Wicker, 2015). The U.S. government passed the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program in order to reduce hospital readmissions (Boozary et al., 2015). The program is a derivative of section 3025 of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Nardi, French, Jones & McCauley 2016). It imposes financial penalties on medical institutions that record high readmission rates. Given the potential benefits of this program, our agency, the American Chance, resolved to support the legislation. The organization seeks to ensure that hospitals direct most of their resources to evidence-based approaches in order to enhance their health outcomes.
The mission of the American Chance is to oversee the implementation of the strategies outlined in the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program. The organization also aims at ensuring that hospitals employ evidence-based interventions in order to provide relevant health care services.
Background of the Bill
Since 1985, patients have been contracting different diseases while receiving treatment in hospitals. Such cases occur due to medical practitioners’ negligence, unsafe healthcare environments, wrong diagnoses, and erroneous medication (Zuckerman, Sheingold, Orav, Ruhter, & Epstein, 2016). These problems diminish patients’ confidence in healthcare institutions; therefore, they are forced to seek treatment elsewhere. The Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program was introduced in order to address these challenges (Zuckerman et al., 2016). Consequently, hospitals have employed various strategies to help medical practitioners observe quality standards while providing health services. The bill enforces multi-component interventions that include communication and advanced care planning. This way, caregivers are able to manage acute conditions appropriately, minimizing readmission cases. After the introduction of the bill in 2012, the United States experienced a considerable decrease in readmission rates (see fig. 1).
Figure1. Effects of Hospital Readmissions Reduction Bill after implementation.
Note. From “Readmissions, observation, and the hospital readmissions reduction program,” by R. Zuckerman, S. Sheingold, E. Orav, J. Ruhter, and A. Epstein, 2016, New England Journal of Medicine, 374(16), p. 1547. Copyright 2016 by Copyright Holder. Reprinted with permission.
In addition, healthcare practitioners have been accused of indecency and unprofessionalism. Cases of corruption and favoritism in hospitals have hindered the ability to deliver quality health services (Nardi et al., 2016). Besides, some ward administrators and supervisors conduct minimal assessments to ascertain whether patients’ needs are met. For these reasons, sick people are discharged from hospitals before achieving full recovery. Senator Joe Manchin III proposed the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program in order to ensure that hospital administrators are held responsible for low patient outcomes.
Roles of the Bill
The Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program provides guidelines that help hospitals in diagnosing patients to ascertain their diseases. Records from various medical institutions in the United States indicate that approximately 14% of newer patients fail to gain admissions in medical facilities due to lack of bed space (Zuckerman et al. 2016). Consequently, they are forced to seek health services in alternative hospitals. In most cases, these patients do not receive adequate care; hence, their health conditions deteriorate. Through the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, medical facilities are supposed to provide urgent medical attention to such individuals. As a result, readmission cases have decreased significantly. The legislation also encourages hospitals and medical practitioners prioritize the health needs of patients. The bill is patient-centered since it obligates healthcare institutions to adopt approaches that would guarantee better health outcomes.
Legislative History and Supporters of Bill
The United States noted a decrease in the quality of healthcare services in many hospitals, especially due to negligent medical staff. Unscrupulous hospital managers also contributed to this problem in their quest to maximize profits. In response to these concerns, the government introduced the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program through the Affordable Care Act of 2010. The bill was proposed by Senator Manchin. He managed to persuade the Congress to support the legislation. The program was aimed at penalizing hospitals that recorded increased patient readmissions. Initially, the bill imposed a maximum penalty of 1% of a hospital’s total expenses on Medicare-based diagnosis (Boozary et al., 2015). However, this fine was later increased up to 3% in 2012 (Boozary et al., 2015). Indeed, the bill has succeeded in improving patient satisfaction in most hospitals.
The Readmissions Reduction Program bill safeguards the wellbeing of patients. Since its introduction, hospitals in the U.S. have witnessed decreased cases of readmissions (see fig. 1). This reduction suggests that health practitioners have been keen on providing excellent medical services. Besides, the bill has changed the perception of healthcare professionals on the plight of patients. Doctors and nurses prioritize the medical needs of their clients as indicated by the reduction in hospital readmissions of individuals suffering from heart conditions.
Frequent incidents of hospital readmissions bear financial implications on patients or their relatives. In most cases, individuals have to pay more money for a health problem that can be solved once through precise diagnosis and proper medication. Zuckerman et al. (2016) confirm that such hospital readmissions force families to incur unnecessary expenses. Through the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, individuals are expected to incur 10% less expenditure on medical services (Zuckerman et al., 2016). Therefore, the American Chance seeks to support this legislation in order to caution patients from unnecessary medical expenses. In addition, the American Chance recommends hiring of adequate medical staff to guarantee that hospitals are able to deliver quality care. Evidently, the availability of enough healthcare professionals ensures that patients receive care and avoid hospital readmissions.
Request for Co-Sponsorship
Since the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program has been effective in reducing hospital readmissions, the American Chance requests members of the Senate to ensure that it is implemented in all hospitals. The organization also seeks co-sponsors, especially from the Senate and the private sector, in order to achieve its short-term and long-term goals.
Health care institutions have been experiencing a high rate of patient readmissions due to an increase in lifestyle diseases. This state of affairs is attributed to negligence and medical errors in several hospitals. The U.S. government adopted the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program in order to counter the high rate of hospital readmissions. The legislation was proposed by Senator Joe Manchin III and seeks to ensure that medical institutions provide adequate health services to patients. Through this program, various hospitals have recorded a decrease in patient readmissions.
Boozary, A. S., Manchin, J., & Wicker, R. F. (2015). The Medicare hospital readmissions reduction program: Time for reform. Jama, 314(4), 347-348. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.6507.
Makary, M. A., & Daniel, M. (2016). Medical error-the third leading cause of death in the US. British Medical Journal (Online), 353, 1-5. doi: 10.1136/bmj.i2139.
Nardi, M., French, E., Jones, J. B., & McCauley, J. (2016). Medical spending of the US elderly. Fiscal Studies, 37(3-4), 717-747. doi. 10.1111/j.1475-5890.2016.12106.
Zuckerman, R. B., Sheingold, S. H., Orav, E. J., Ruhter, J., & Epstein, A. M. (2016). Readmissions, observation, and the hospital readmissions reduction program. New England Journal of Medicine, 374(16), 1543-1551. doi. 10.1056/NEJMsa1513024.
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