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Health

Statewide Study Shows Community Care Cuts Return Visits To Hospitals

Two Ob/GYN doctors review test results.
Mercy Health
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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.

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