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Nurs Econ. 2011 Mar-Apr;29(2):69-78, 87.

Outcomes and cost analysis of the impact of unit-level nurse staffing on post-discharg utilization.

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Marquette University College of Nursing, Milwaukee, WI, USA.


Under a proposal from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, hospitals would no longer be reimbursed for 30-day re-admissions or emergency department (ED) visits. Increasing RN staffing to reduce post-discharge utilization is one possible solution, but one that is not financially attractive to hospitals. This study demonstrates the impact of fluctuating staffing levels on ED visits within 30 days of discharge. RN overtime and RN vacancies also affected subsequent ED visits. It is important for nurse managers, directors, and administrators to recognize the impact of RN staffing on patient outcomes. Reimbursement models will need to be realigned to benefit both hospitals and payers.

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