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Open Access Highly Accessed Commentary

Interventions for reducing readmissions – are we barking up the right tree?

Ran D Balicer12*, Efrat Shadmi13 and Avi Israeli45

Author Affiliations

1 Health Policy Planning department & Clalit Research Institute, Chief Physician Office, Clalit Health Services, Arlozorov 101, Tel Aviv, Israel

2 Public Health Department, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University, Beer-Sheva, Israel

3 Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences, University of Haifa, Haifa, 31905, Israel

4 Ministry of Health, Ben Tabai 2, Jerusalem, 93591, Israel

5 Hebrew University – Hadassah faculty of Medicine, Jerusalem, 91120, Israel

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Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 2013, 2:2  doi:10.1186/2045-4015-2-2

Published: 23 January 2013

Abstract

Readmission reduction is at the focus of health care systems worldwide in efforts to improve efficiency across care settings. Yet, setting targets for readmission reduction is complicated due to inconsistencies in evidence pointing to effective organization-wide interventions and because of inverse incentives (such as maintaining high occupancy rates). Nonetheless, readmission reduction is one of the few quality measures that, if implemented properly, can serve as a catalyst for system integration. Appropriate mechanisms should be applied to hospitals as well as ambulatory settings to ensure that accountability is assigned to all stakeholders.

Keywords:
Readmission; Quality of care; Health services research