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RMU Panel Will Tackle Hospital Readmission Rates

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pittsburgh – Preventable hospital readmissions cost the nation $17 billion annually in Medicare costs alone, and the Pittsburgh region has one of the highest readmission rates in the United States, according to the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative.

To develop solutions for this problem, the School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Robert Morris University is hosting a panel discussion of health care experts on Tuesday, March 27, in Dining Rooms A and C of the Sewall Center at RMU’s Moon Township campus. A reception with light refreshments will take place at 6 p.m., and the discussion gets underway at 7. The panel, “Care Transitions,” will specifically address hospital readmissions among senior citizens, which are particularly high.

Readmission is when a patient must return to the hospital within 30 days of being discharged. The federal Affordable Care Act – the health care reform package President Obama signed into law in 2010 – includes financial incentives for health systems to work collaboratively with a wide range of long-term care and community partners to reduce preventable hospitalizations, as well as penalties for hospitals with high readmission rates.

Moderating the Care Transitions panel will be RMU assistant professor Joseph Angelelli, director of the university’s Health Services Administration program. Angelelli holds a Ph.D. in gerontology and public policy, and was formerly the Pennsylvania state director of the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute.

Participating in the panel are:

  • Holly J. D’Amico, director of Medical Resources at Excela Health
  • Tim Landrin, director of Long Term Care for the Southwestern Pennsylvania Area Agency on Aging
  • Lisa Malosh, director of post-hospital care coordination for St. Clair Hospital
  • Ray Prushnok, director for Long-Term Care Solutions for UPMC Health Plan
  • Dr. Dave Thimons, program director for the Heritage Valley Medicine Residency Program

Robert Morris University, founded in 1921, is a private, four-year institution with an enrollment of approximately 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The university offers 60 undergraduate and 20 graduate programs. An estimated 22,000 alumni live and work in western Pennsylvania.