Language Programs Can Help With Medicare Readmission Penalties

A recent article in Modern Healthcare stated that a total of 2,610 hospitals in the U.S. will see their Medicare payments docked in fiscal 2015 for having excessive numbers of patients return to the hospital within 30 days of discharge, some of which will be fined the maximum of 3%.Whether you approve of the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, which was created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or not, statistics like these are alarming and of concern to healthcare organizations and their patients.Healthcare professionals attribute socioeconomics, antiquated technology, inadequate processes, shortage of staff, budget cuts and more to increased readmission rates. With regard to readmission, I urge you to contemplate the following:

How much of the readmission rates can be avoided by ensuring healthcare organizations invest in a comprehensive language access plan?

We are all aware of the effects that ineffective communication with an individual who is Limited English Proficient (LEP) has on quality patient care but, did you stop to think on what it does to your readmission rates?Ineffective communication can lead to increased readmission rates and can also contribute to various issues which lead to substandard medical care, including:

– Patient inability to understand discharge instructions
– Patient inability to understand medical prescription consumption
– Patient inability to understand at home care
– Patient’s lack of follow up with the healthcare provider
– Misdiagnosis

At Metaphrasis, our goal is to be a valuable business partner to healthcare organizations to help them reach their mission of providing quality care. We tip our hats off to our clients for their dedication to providing quality language services and their commitment to excellent care.