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Health Aff (Millwood). 2010 Jan-Feb;29(1):57-64. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2009.0629.

The revolving door of rehospitalization from skilled nursing facilities.

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  • 1Department of Community Health at the Brown University Warren Alpert School of Medicine, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.


Almost one-fourth of Medicare beneficiaries discharged from the hospital to a skilled nursing facility were readmitted to the hospital within thirty days; this cost Medicare $4.34 billion in 2006. Especially in an elderly population, cycling into and out of hospitals can be emotionally upsetting and can increase the likelihood of medical errors related to care coordination. Payment incentives in Medicare do not encourage providers to coordinate beneficiaries' care. Revising these incentives could achieve major savings for providers and improved quality of life for beneficiaries.

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