Can Social Media Reduce Medicare Readmissions?

Ben Miller (@Miller7) and I were recently invited to give a presentation at the Third National Medicare Readmissions Summit, to discuss whether we thought social media could reduce or prevent unnecessary hospital readmissions.  This is an issue that is becoming increasingly important, as Medicare will soon stop paying hospitals for any readmission within 30 days of hospital discharge.

As I’m short on time (I have been absent from here for a very long time), I am posting our slide set here:

I think the latter part of the presentation (after we highlight some of the social media tools we felt would be most useful) is the most interesting: we tried to come up with ideas and ways to use social media within currently-accepted guidelines/best practices/HIPAA requirements.

I’ll try and give this some additional thought later…I hope the slides suffice for now.


5 Responses to Can Social Media Reduce Medicare Readmissions?

  1. Mark says:

    This is an excellent presentation and examination of a key issue facing HC and increasing cost. The Institute for Healthcare Improvement Has excellent tools for readmission designed for specific discharge diseases such as CHF. They have been examining this for some time.

    If I remember correctly it is the PCP who is key to improving readmission rates. Second is the patient and determining their level of knowledge regarding side effects etc and knowing when to call etc.

    SM can go a long way in being a reminder follow-up system for patients, HCP, and caregivers.

    Unless I’m mistaken hasn’t Medicare determined if a patient is readmitted for the same issue they came in with you dont get paid. I may be wrong.

    • richmonddoc says:

      Mark–thanks for the IHI info.

      You are correct: my understanding is that under new rules, Medicare will not pay for any care if a patient is readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of discharge.

      Obviously, this is getting a *lot* of attention.

  2. What was the response from your audience? Were they hung up on any aspect of SM in particular?

    • richmonddoc says:

      I think issues of privacy and HIPAA are always on people’s minds, as are questions about how to balance social media time w/ other obligations.

    • richmonddoc says:

      Very positive. Full room, lots of interest and questions. A few apparent converts.

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