Hospitalizations account for nearly one-third of the total $2 trillion spent on health care in the United States. In the majority of cases, hospitalization is necessary and appropriate. However, a substantial fraction of all hospitalizations are patients returning to the hospital soon after their previous stay. These rehospitalizations are costly, potentially harmful, and often avoidable.
Evidence suggests that the rate of avoidable rehospitalization can be reduced by improving core discharge planning and transition processes out of the hospital; improving transitions and care coordination at the interfaces between care settings; and enhancing coaching, education, and support for patient self-management.