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Statewide Study Shows Community Care Cuts Return Visits To Hospitals

Two Ob/GYN doctors review test results.
Mercy Health

Members of a Raleigh-based community medical organization say a new study shows a transitional care program they launched has cut hospital re-admissions by 20 percent. 

Community Care of North Carolina started the program for Medicaid patients in 2008.  Researchers tracked patients over a year's time, many of whom frequently returned to hospitals for treatment. 

Annette DuBard is a health evaluator at CCNC and a lead author of the study.  She says a key to cutting back on re-admissions comes from an emphasis on follow-up care.

"Providing the support needed during that confusing time of hospital discharge to really connect the dots back to the primary-care provider and re-educate the patient and the family about warning flags has great benefit not just in those first 30 days but can change the trajectory for the patient over the coming year," DuBard says.

DuBard says most patients would be back in a hospital bed within three months without an increased emphasis on after-care.

Gurnal Scott joined North Carolina Public Radio in March 2012 after several stops in radio and television. After graduating from the College of Charleston in his South Carolina hometown, he began his career in radio there. He started as a sports reporter at News/Talk Radio WTMA and won five Sportscaster of the Year awards. In 1997, Gurnal moved on to television as general assignment reporter and weekend anchor for WCSC-TV in Charleston. He anchored the market's top-rated weekend newscasts until leaving Charleston for Memphis, TN in 2002. Gurnal worked at WPTY-TV for two years before returning to his roots in radio. He joined the staff of Memphis' NewsRadio 600 WREC in 2004 eventually rising to News Director. In 2006, Raleigh news radio station WPTF came calling and he became the station's chief correspondent. Gurnal’s reporting has been honored by the South Carolina Broadcasters Association, the North Carolina Associated Press, and the Radio Television Digital News Association of the Carolinas.
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