§ 23-17.26-1 Findings.
The general assembly hereby finds and declares that:
(1) According to data provided by the department of health; in 2009, over 1 in five (5) adults discharged from acute care hospitals in Rhode Island were readmitted within thirty (30) days;
(2) During that same period, the readmission rate for adults over the age of sixty-five (65) rose to almost thirty percent (30%);
(3) The issue of hospital readmissions has emerged nationally as a critical focal point for improving quality, ensuring patient safety, and controlling excessive costs;
(4) Locally, high hospital readmission rates are often due to: missing or incorrect information regarding patients; ill-timed information transfer; medication errors or poor compliance; lack of outpatient follow-up; or lack of follow-up by patients when their symptoms worsen;
(5) Evidence-based interventions can improve communications systems and patient activation, thus addressing the root causes of hospital readmissions and reducing rates;
(6) Encouraging best practices in patient discharge and transitions out of hospitals offers significant potential for improving patient care and containing healthcare costs in Rhode Island; and,
(7) The State of Rhode Island, with the cooperation of the state's hospitals, has already made significant gains in fostering care coordination and improving quality of care.
(P.L. 2011, ch. 114, § 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 119, § 1.)