The Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP) is a program that penalizes hospitals with above-average 30-day readmission rates for patients who fit specific criteria. Medicare beneficiaries contribute significantly to high hospital spending on readmission, with studies showing this cost to be around $26 billion per year. Officials estimate that $17 billion of the total costs come from potentially avoidable readmissions.

Preventing readmissions is a national priority for healthcare payers, providers, and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) who want to improve care and reduce costs.

The Most Accessible Healthcare Provider

One way to reduce hospital readmission rates is by involving community pharmacists in the post-discharge care process. Community pharmacists are often the most accessible healthcare providers in a community, with 48% of the population living within 1 mile of a pharmacy, 73.1% within 2 miles, and 88.9% within 5 miles. By providing medication reconciliation and medication therapy management, community pharmacists can help ensure that patients receive the right medications at the right time and understand how to take them correctly, leading to better patient outcomes and lower healthcare costs.

Involving a pharmacist in the care process can also improve communication between patients and their healthcare providers. For example, patients may be more likely to discuss their medications and concerns with a pharmacist than with a doctor or nurse. Pharmacists can act as a bridge between patients and other members of the healthcare team, helping to ensure that patients receive the best possible care.

Lack of Access to Critical Data

However, community pharmacists are often kept out of the loop of patient discharge from local hospitals, and their lack of access to crucial electronic health data (EHR) further hinders their ability to provide effective Transitional Care Management (TCM). This lack of access to critical resources and timely data has led to increased hospital readmissions and costs.

Bridging the Gap Between Community Pharmacy and Hospital

Truentity Health’s platform and clinical team can help bridge the gap between community pharmacies and hospitals, allowing pharmacists to access the information they need to effectively manage vulnerable populations and reduce the likelihood of hospital readmission. By obtaining timely patient data on patients that have been discharged from a hospital, as well as EHR information, pharmacists can provide the care and support that patients need to avoid unnecessary hospital readmissions.

To learn more about Truentity’s innovative platform and services, book a demo here.

You can download a complementary white paper on Top 5 Modern Approaches to Medication Reconciliation here.