Radiologist’s New Opportunity to Add Value – “Readmission Reduction Initiatives”

The following post was contributed by guest blogger Ashima Lall, MD, MBA.  

As we know, The Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have a provision under section 3025 of the Affordable Care Act, which establishes the Hospital Readmission Reduction Initiative, requiring CMS to penalize IPPS hospitals for unplanned 30 day readmission effective Oct. 1, 2012.

Being actively involved in many hospital committees and advisory boards, I learned that readmission reduction initiatives are one of the top priorities of health care organizations as unplanned 30 day readmissions carry alarming financial penalties.  As a practicing radiologist with clinical experience in evidence-based practices, a business background, and a six sigma certificate of achievement, I thought this was an incredible opportunity to leverage my skills to gain an in-depth understanding of readmissions issue and be part of solutions that close care gaps.

I also believe it is imperative to hardwire the radiologist’s “value added role” in health care organizations, and reflected that my involvement in this initiative would help reinforce radiologist’s distinctive position in the new evolving patient centric health care delivery models.

I asked myself, “Is my hospital readmission committee looking for participation from physicians?” The answer was apparent as I looked into it further. The committee was exhilarated and welcomed me as an esteemed member of the initiative. With my active participation in discussions involving root cause analysis, risk assessment tools, and coordination of care across the care continuum, the committee recognizes unconditional dedication for engagement and collaboration with the other clinical, nursing, and administrative associates.

It has been a rewarding experience to collaborate within the cross functional environment where the goal is to prevent readmissions, an issue that is on the forefront of all the stakeholders.