Medicare patients in rural settings have lower rates of post-discharge follow-up care

(Source – www.news-medical.net)

Medicare patients in rural areas have lower rates of follow-up care after leaving the hospital–which may place them at higher risk of emergency department (ED) visits and repeat hospitalizations, according to a study in the September issue of Medical Care. The journal is published by Wolters Kluwer.

“This study provides evidence of lower rates of post-discharge follow-up care, and higher ED use for Medicare beneficiaries in rural settings,” comments lead author Matthew Toth, PhD, MSW. The research was conducted while Dr. Toth was at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; he is now at RTI International. Especially with new “pay-for-performance” programs tying reimbursement to hospital performance on patient outcomes, the results highlight the need for policies to improve follow-up care for patients in rural areas. Read more…

 

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