Colorado Cuts Readmission Rates and Saves Nearly $3 Million

In August of 2011, the rates of readmission for the same cause (stroke victim is released on Monday, is back two weeks later because they show signs of stroke again) in target populations in Colorado hospitals were at 9.8 percent. However, when Colorado Hospital Association teamed up with UnitedHealthcare with the aligned goal of reducing avoidable hospital readmissions, those rates fell by nearly half, to just 5.8 percent. Together, 19 participating hospitals statewide – with the conjoined efforts of UnitedHealthcare – have saved $3 million dollars within just one year of launching their campaign. That is triple the amount it cost them to help participating facilities come up with plans to coordinate post-hospitalization patient care and to try to keep people from needing (and wanting) to come back for further care.

Furthermore, “all cause” readmissions – patients readmitted for a cause different than their original-admission diagnosis – dropped from 14.94 percent to 8.45 percent. This is a huge step forward for Colorado hospitals – and eventually, for hospitals nationwide as well. By preventing unnecessary readmissions, this will help get control over those outstanding healthcare costs that have risen significantly (to double-digit percentages!) in the past 10 years alone, since care in a hospital is much more expensive than that received in any other facility.

To see how Colorado is successful in keeping their readmission rates down, visit

  Date posted: Monday, September 16th, 2013
Category: Health Care Reform

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