Ketterer, M. W. (2019). Prevention of early readmissions in the chronically medically ill patient. Journal of Health Service Psychology, 45, 23–27.
Avoidable early hospital readmissions (30 days or fewer) in chronically medically ill patients have become a matter of importance in the U.S. healthcare system. Unexplained hospital-to-hospital variability wastes financial resources, results in Medicare/Medicaid penalties, and causes poor medical outcomes (including elevated death rates). The primary cause of this problem appears to be inadequate discharge preparation/planning. Behavioral factors, most commonly unrecognized cognitive impairment, play a significant role in early readmissions and may lead to dysadherence. Careful evaluation of psychological factors can enhance identification of the cognitively impaired patient, and permit psychoeducation of the patient/family to avoid future medical crises.
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