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2010: A Tough Year Ahead for Discharge Planners, but Help Is Available

Friday, January 15, 2010 General News J E 4
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NEWTON, Mass., Jan. 14 A new regulation from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will make it harder for discharge planners to transition patients from acute-care settings to inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs), according to Curaspan Health Group(TM), the industry leader in building secure electronic patient-transition networks for hospitals, post-acute providers and suppliers.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100114/NE37429LOGO )

At most hospitals, the traditional discharge-planning process is a very manual and labor-intensive process, and requirements in CMS-1538-F, effective January 1, 2010, will increase the burden when transferring patients to an IRF for additional rehabilitation. In 2010: A Difficult Year for Discharge Planning, now available on the company's new Web site, Curaspan expects that the rule will increase length of stay (LOS) and result in more patients getting post-acute care in non-acute settings.

"Given developing regulatory challenges, pending health-care reform legislation and the recent release of meaningful-use requirements, the writing on the wall is clear," says Thomas R. Ferry, president and CEO of Curaspan. "It is more important than ever for patient-transition professionals to get help from simple-to-use technology that frees them from administrative tasks, so they can do more of what they do best: care for patients."

Curaspan works with many of the nation's top hospital and post-acute care providers that already have started the secure, electronic exchange of key clinical information, one of the criteria of meaningful use. Those organizations include Johns Hopkins Health System, New York Presbyterian, St. Thomas Health Services (part of Ascension Health), Vanguard Health System, Gentiva Health Services and American Medical Response, among many others. The health-care IT research firm KLAS last month awarded the Curaspan Web-based software eDischarge(TM) "Best in KLAS" for discharge planning.

Ferry notes that the average hospital, with no capital investment, can deploy the software-as-a-service (SaaS) application in six to eight weeks and, for each dollar invested, get an $8 - 10 dollar return, fully recovering costs within three months of going live.

"Facilities that start deploying Curaspan software now can generate substantial ROI months before the government begins distributing any money," adds Ferry. "There's no one-size-does-it-all EHR, and those facilities that start automating a key part of the health-care continuum today, like discharge planning, will be ahead of the game in the long run."

Curaspan HIPAA-compliant software -- built with clinical expertise from case managers, discharge planners and social workers -- is easy to deploy and use and requires less than three hours of training. Over the past decade, it has helped facilitate the smooth transition of almost 1.5 million patients. Off to a strong start in 2010 in its newly expanded headquarters, Curaspan is on track to double that number early this year.

About Curaspan Health Group

Curaspan Health Group builds secure patient-transition networks for hospitals, post-acute providers and suppliers to optimize patient care. Curaspan software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications empower users with real-time, predictive decision-making data that enables all participants to continuously monitor care, improve communication and ensure compliance. This informatics exchange is integrated with the proprietary Curaspan Provider Data Bank((TM)), the industry's most comprehensive and up-to-date system of actionable patient-transition intelligence, and is complemented by the clinical process expertise of credentialed advisors. The Health Care Advisory Board and KLAS repeatedly have recognized Curaspan for its industry-leading software. Curaspan is headquartered in Newton, Mass. For more information please visit www.curaspan.com.

SOURCE Curaspan Health Group
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