May 1, 2023


Helping our Community Get Healthy and Stay Healthy

Not having to return to the hospital after receiving treatment is critical for hospitals, and Hereford Regional Medical Center has achieved a 5.45 percent readmission rate for 2022. It’s the lowest rate among Panhandle hospitals and well below the state average of 14.9 percent.

Efforts to reduce readmission are a priority for the hospital, and an emphasis on discharge planning and the introduction of the community paramedicine program represent considerable investments in reducing readmission rates.

A Strategy to Help People Stay Healthy

Proper discharge planning ensures our patients have a plan in place for when they return home after receiving care. That’s why HRMC staff begin discharge planning with patients as soon as they enter the hospital.

“I’m proud of our team and their commitment to ensuring that every patient discharged from our hospital has what they need to continue to heal and improve,” said Jeff Barnhart, CEO, Deaf Smith County Hospital District. “From proactive discharge planning to the outreach of our community paramedicine team, we’re doing everything we can to keep patients healthy and avoid a return trip to the hospital.”

Communications, organization, and care for patients all come together to improve the readmission process. Other programs the hospital prioritizes are integral as well. The community paramedicine program is an essential piece of this strategy, bringing together physicians, nurses, and paramedics to ensure members of our community have the resources and information they need to successfully recover after a hospital visit and avoid readmission.

More About Hospital Readmissions

Every year since 2012, the federal government imposes financial penalties on hospitals they deem to have too many hospital readmissions of Medicare patients with specific diagnoses: heart failure, heart attacks, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, coronary artery bypass grafts, and knee and hip replacements. Readmissions occur when a patient is discharged from the hospital but returns within 30 days because he or she isn’t getting better, and the government takes up to 3 percent of hospitals’ Medicare payments as a penalty for these readmissions.

Reducing readmissions doesn’t just benefit patients who avoid readmission, it benefits the hospital as a whole by avoiding financial penalties that could impact the hospital’s ability to provide care.

Learn more about the community paramedicine program and our efforts to reduce hospital readmissions.

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