ANCHOR LEAD: MANY PEOPLE DON’T GET ADEQUATE INSTRUCTIONS WHEN THEY ARE DISCHARGED FROM THE HOSPITAL, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
About a third of people discharged from the hospital don’t know which physician to contact when it comes to their follow up care, a recent study found. Redonda Miller, an internal medicine expert at Johns Hopkins, says patients can help protect themselves from post discharge problems.
MILLER: Talk with the doctors taking care of you and make sure you know who you’re supposed to follow up with. Is it your internist, your cardiologist? How soon? One week, two weeks, four weeks? The authors of this study looked at the adequacy of discharge summaries given to patients in the hospital, and found that thirty three percent did not contain the information on whom they should follow up with. :26
Medicare and other third party payers are saying they won’t pay for readmissions within thirty days of discharge, and most people don’t want to go back to the hospital if they don’t have to, so ask your doctor what to do. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.