Does a complex care discharge planning initiative reduce unplanned hospital readmissions?

Date posted: 
Thursday, September 20, 2018


Data access has been approved for a project to determine if payment of the “Specialist Discharge Care Plan for Complex Patient” fee code improved patient outcomes. The research will also evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the fee code as a policy intervention.

Unplanned hospital readmissions are associated with increases in morbidity, mortality, cost and patient dissatisfaction. One attempt to reduce readmissions was implemented in June 2012, when the Specialist Services Committee of British Columbia (a partnership between Doctors of BC and the BC Ministry of Health) introduced a new fee code for physicians.

“The fee code created a financial incentive for physicians to provide a point-of-care supplemental discharge summary to patients and their primary care providers prior to discharge from hospital,” explains project leader Dr. John Staples, a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia. “One of the ultimate goals was to reduce patients' risk of being readmitted to the hospital. Our study will use administrative data to determine if the fee code was an effective way to reduce unplanned readmissions.”

The study is funded by Providence Health Care Research Institute, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute and the Specialist Services Committee (SSC), one of four joint collaborative committees of Doctors of BC and the BC government.

PopData will link datasets from the BC Vital Statistics Agency, the BC Ministry of Health, the BC Ministry of Health Chronic Disease Registry database and Statistics Canada for the project.

Page last revised: October 2, 2018