Following a hospitalization, some 20 percent of seniors return to the emergency room within one month. Now, efforts to lower that number are being encouraged by the new health reform act, the Orlando Sentinel is reporting.
A pilot program at two Miami hospitals demonstrates that the incidence of hospital re-admittance can be reduced if patients receive nurse visits and free meals in their homes. The nurses “coach” patients to stick to their prescriptions and help them obtain refills, if necessary.
The two hospitals enrolled 118 seniors in the program. Each received a month’s worth of healthy, nutritious meals and a nurse visit two days after discharge, and then seven, 14 and 30 days after discharge, to check that they were taking medicines as prescribed and scheduling doctor’s appointments.