A think tank affiliated with the Northeast Business Group on Health has tried to come up with ideas for tackling a problem that drives up health care costs while reducing the quality of care: Boomerang patient syndrome.
Health policy analysts assume that a high percentage of patients who are discharged from a hospital and return within 30 days either had conditions that were not properly addressed when they left the hospital or did not receive proper followup care.
Shawn Nowicki and other analysts who helped develop the report for the NEBGH, New York, note that the overall 30-day readmission rate is high across the United States, and especially high in the Northeast.
“The New York metro region’s poor performance in readmission rates is particularly alarming,” the analysts write.
When the Commonwealth Fund, New York, created a 2009 hospital readmissions scorecard, Connecticut ranked 32nd, New Jersey ranked 48th, and New York came in dead last, the analysts say.
About 12.7% of all U.S. patients discharged after surgery returned within 30 days in 2009.
The surgical readmission rate was 13.3% in Connecticut, 14.9% in New Jersey and 15.9% in New York.
The NEBGH think tank developed the hospital readmissions report by asking hospitals, health plans, employers and other stake holders for their ideas about how to fix the problem.