Prevention

Helping Seniors Stay Out of the Hospital

Medical care has unexpected costs, and new data show that rehospitalization—re-entering the hospital after a recent discharge—is one of the health-care system’s most common problems, costing Medicare $17 billion each year. One in five Medicare patients return to the hospital within a month of discharge. Experts say programs such as “Care Transitions” can teach patients how to properly care for themselves at home and communicate effectively with doctors. "This generation tends to be very obedient and does not want to be pushy," said one doctor. "No, it's your body, it's your life, let's be a little pushy. That's what the doctors are there for." The program has reduced rehospitalizations, and is likely to expand.