The Virtual Care Blog

Decrease 30-day readmissions by proactively managing newly discharged patients with virtual care.

Posted by Scott Berghoff

High Readmission Rates Costs Your Organization Millions Each Year

In 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) determined the total cost of all readmissions exceeded $26B and approximately 65% was attributed to preventable readmissions. The CMS Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP) has penalized hospitals $2B since its inception in 2012. It measures the 30-day readmission rate for the following conditions:

  • Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI)
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Heart Failure (HF)
  • Pneumonia
  • Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) Surgery
  • Elective Primary Total Hip Arthroplasty and/or Total Knee Arthroplasty (THA/TKA)

The Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform (CHQPR) states that preventable readmissions are caused by:

  • Complications or infections arising directly from the initial hospital stay
  • Poorly managed transitions during discharge
  • Recurrence of a chronic condition that led to the initial hospitalization

Reduce Readmissions with Virtual Care Discharge Management

Virtual care is one of the most effective approaches to address readmissions and proactively manage newly discharged patients. Scheduling proactive, virtual follow-up visits is not only convenient for patients, but also reduces urgent care and emergency room visits for patients presenting with side-effects or post-operative issues. More timely virtual follow-up visits also result in better adherence to treatment plans and medication, along with improved access for patients in rural areas. Scheduling mandatory patient check-in appointments at critical post care junctures–24 hours after discharge, 3 days after discharge, and again at 7 days after discharge, decreases 30-day readmissions.

A successful implementation of virtual care:

  • Improves outcomes
  • Improves adherence to treatment plans and medication 
  • Provides faster intervention and care for postoperative issues
  • Improves access for patients in rural areas
  • Reduces costs
  • Reduces urgent care and emergency room visits
  • Lowers readmission rates and costs
  • Decreases CMS withholdings / penalties

Better patient outcomes equates to lower 30-day readmission rates. One comprehensive study followed groups of patients across five healthcare facilities post-discharge after being treated for pneumonia, heart failure, or COPD. The patients in each group followed up in a traditional in-office setting or through virtual care. Readmission rates decreased across the board in the virtual care group. The decrease in rates varied upon the illness. The three facilities studying  readmission rates in patients with heart failure saw rates decrease from 7% to 4%. Pneumonia patients had the highest readmission rate decrease at 26%, and the COPD patient group reported a 19% decrease in readmissions compared to the non-telemedicine group. 

Becker’s Hospital Review reported the average cost for any readmitted patient is $14,400. One study showed an average decrease in readmissions of 10% when a hospital used virtual care .   

Assuming 5000 discharges per year, a hospital without virtual care is looking at a cost of $10.8M per year in readmission costs. A hospital with a virtual care platform integrated into their discharge protocols would see a readmission cost of $3.6M: a savings of $7.2M a year. 

Why You Should Use eVisit Enterprise Virtual Care Platform for Discharge Management

eVisit enables healthcare systems to deliver faster, more accessible virtual care by leveraging their own network of providers. Built for the enterprise with more than 150 points of configuration, eVisit accommodates your unique workflows and integrates with more than 50 EMRs through HL7 and/or FHIR standards. Our next generation, double-encrypted, data vault keeps patient data protected and secure. And, our enterprise-grade video works within stringent firewalls and security policies while delivery HD quality. Our Customer Success team guides you through on-boarding and beyond to get the best possible value from eVisit. Plus, we provide technical support for everyone—from your administrators and providers to patients.

Request your free virtual care assessment! 

Key Features

  • Scheduling
    • Easily schedule visits on-demand or on the calendar
  • Intake
    • Configure intake questions for quick registration
  • Waiting Room
    • Manage patient and provider routing and waiting queues
  • Visit
    • Meet over 2-way HIPAA compliant video
  • Discharge
    • ePrescribe and process payment
  • Analytics
    • Analyze visit metrics including wait time, visit duration, and patient satisfaction

Key Advantages

  • Non-Competitive
    • eVisit is not a healthcare provider. Our platform enables health systems to compete directly with tech-enabled healthcare providers
  • Configuration Engine
    • 150+ points of configuration to meet your unique workflows
  • EMR Integration Layer
    • 50+ supported EMRs with HL7 integration
  • Government-Grade Security
    • Next generation, double-encrypted, patient data security vault
  • Adaptive Video
    • eVisit’s enterprise grade video provides this and works with stringent firewalls and security policies while delivering HD quality
  • Fast Time to Value
    • Guided on-boarding, unlimited support, regular trainings, and adoption support
  • Patient Tech Support
    • Unlimited support for admins, providers, and your patients
Scott Berghoff

About Scott Berghoff

Scott spent 20 years in pharmaceutical sales in Arizona, Alaska, California, New York City, and New Mexico. He has an MBA in Health Care Management and likes to keep up on current and upcoming trends in the health care industry. He and his wife, a Family Nurse Practitioner, live in Arizona.

The eVisit Blog