To the Editor:
Two years ago the Hospital Readmissions Program was started by Medicare as an effort to drastically reduce readmissions across the nation by penalizing hospitals that showed high occurrences of patients being readmitted within a month of discharge. 2014 marks the second year of these efforts, which leaves us wondering, how are New Jersey hospitals holding up? The answer is abysmally. Fifty-nine out of the 64 hospitals in New Jersey will be receiving penalties. This is why New Jersey needs to pass The Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable Act otherwise known as the CARE Act, #A2955.
The CARE Act, supported by AARP, would allow a patient to legally recognize the critical role of caregivers after hospitalization and provide them with resources, information, and training to ensure that the patient’s discharge plan is carried out successfully. This benefits not only caregivers and their loved ones but hospitals as well because it would help drastically reduce the number of readmitted patients and thus help lower the penalties.
Professor Emeritus, Rutgers University