Journal Articles

Penalties for hospital readmissions?

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Penalties for hospital readmissions?

Martyn Butcher, Richard Shorney, Richard White
31 May 2010

Early June, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley announced an intention to reduce the half million annual hospital readmissions. Between 1998–99 and 2007–2008 the number of emergency readmissions in the UK has risen by 53%, from 359,719 to 546,354 (Peñaloza, 2010). The new Health Secretary argues that patients are being discharged too early to free up beds and this in turn undermines patient care. Under the new plans, hospitals would receive funding for the first hospital stay plus treatment for the 30 days post discharge, giving hospitals the responsibility for a patient’s health and wellbeing following hospital treatment, not the GPs and primary care trusts (PCTS), as is currently the case.

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