Hospitals are looking to large drugstore chains, their vast databases and patient-outreach resources to help reduce hospital readmission rates.
With medication discrepancies doubling the risk of hospital readmissions, contracting with drugstores
to monitor for prescription conflicts and follow up with patients is well worth the expense, healthcare researcher Jane Brock tells Colorado Public Radio
Now that Medicare payments are at risk if too many patients come back within 30 days of discharge, hospitals have even more incentive to pursue drugstore partnerships.
"The infrastructure of doing these call back programs is not merely that there's a telephone and someone who can dial it," Randall Wagner, M.D., chief medical officer of Washington Adventist Hospital, says in the radio story, broadcast by National Public Radio
. "It involves creating a database, creating a group of people who can call, and if the patient doesn't answer the phone, there's someone else who can call back. There's a handoff of information between the inpatient side and the outpatient side."
Some large drugstore
giants have patient follow-up programs, according to the piece.
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