Nearly 20%of Medicare patients returning to the hospital within a month of discharge. The government considers readmissions a prime symptom of an overly expensivehealth system.

Nearly 2 Millon Medicare Benificarys are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days, costing Medicare over 17.5 Billion dollars per year. The nation wide rate has remained at just under 20% in spite of the fact that hospitals have tried to reduce this number.

One are where this issue has been addressed is taking medication properly. Pill dispensers that will remind and assist home bound patients to take their medication can have a big impact on the number of re-admisssion. Programmable pill dispensers like the MED-Q Pill Box have been proven to be effective.

According to Medicare , over 1900 hopsitals will be fined 1% in 2013 and the fines are ecpected to rise up to 3%. This new fine sytem is a part of Presidnt Obama;s health care refrom to reduce costs and provide better quality services. Hospitals have seen these changes coming for years and have come up with many ideas to alleviate the problems.

Everything from reminder phoe calls, nurse home visits to medication reminder systems have been put in place to avoid the costly fines. The fine will be deducted from Medicare reimbursments every time the hospital files a claim. As an example, a hopital receives the maximum fine of 1% on $20,000 for a stay, Medicare would reimburse $19,800. Hopitals have been complaining that Medicare is holding hospitals to higher standards then what Congress had invisioned, holding them to higher outcomes that they have no control over. Patients in lower income brackets have lesser outcomes and the hospitals can have little impact in those areas.

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Troy Hollbrook