No. of Recommendations: 9

I just got back from a board of trustees meeting at “the hospital”. There were a number of Powerpoint presentations by various officers showing how well we are doing. One of the poorer scores is that of “days stay” where we are at about 6 and the goal set by the government (what is affectionately called “Obamacare”, otherwise officially known as the Patient Protection and Affordability Act) is a little over 4. In addition, (we have an elderly population around the hospital and work with a number of nursing homes) we seem to have too many “return customers” within the first 30 days after a patient is released.

One of the ways this is being dealt with is to incentivize the doctors by paying them a “bonus” (forget the technical word used) if they manage to get a patient out quicker and keep them from going back to the hospital within a month by administering care at their offices.

Another is by making an alliance with a California based managed care group who has just moved into the neighborhood and who apparently aggressively manages their Medicare Advantage program.

There are a few interesting statistics which were mentioned: It seems that, on average, 40% of all care costs are spent in the final few months of life. It also seems that hospital acquired infections rank fourth in cause of death in the US.

The word “and” in Patient Protection and Affordability Act seems to be important. Patient Protection seems to be important for as long as a patient is in the hospital, but Affordability takes at least an equal footing (and an increasing one as the patient gets older and/or sicker).

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