Tampa, FL -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/01/2016 -- New penalties took effect last month for hospitals with higher than expected rates of readmissions among Medicare patients.
The penalties were enacted under the Affordable Care Act and reduce the amount those hospitals are reimbursed for each Medicare patient for the fiscal year running October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017.
Greg Grambor thinks about hospital readmissions often. He is the president of Vascular PRN, a national distributor of pneumatic compression therapy equipment for the prevention and treatment of deep vein thrombosis and other conditions. Grambor says pneumatic compression therapy works well for treatment in the home because it is easy to use and non-invasive.
"When patients follow their doctor's instructions carefully after release, they tend not to be readmitted to the hospital," Grambor said. "But many follow up treatments are burdensome. They often take place at medical facilities, requiring taking time out of your day, or they can be painful or high-effort."
Pneumatic compression therapy is different, according to Grambor.
"Patients administer the treatment themselves, in their own home. Battery-powered devices even allow treatment on the go. The process is easy and painless and does not require your attention," Grambor said. "Once you start it up, you're free to do anything you would normally do in a seated or reclined position."
National readmission rates have decreased since the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, which codifies the penalties, began in 2012. Hospitals are measured against benchmarks for Medicare patients who undergo certain procedures, including several surgeries. Compression therapy is an increasingly common treatment following any major surgery, which directly and indirectly contributes to blood clots.
"Word is getting out to hospitals that compression therapy is a great way to control costs and keep readmissions low," Grambor said.