You are the chief financial officer of Smithville Hospital, and you have recently implemented a budget reduction throughout the hospital. You want to ensure your actions are accepted among the hospital department managers. What would be the best way to communicate with these department managers? If there is resistance, what should you do? (Reference: Introduction to the financial management of healthcare organizations 6th edition).
Mr. Jones an 87 years old widower who lives alone was admitted to the hospital through the emergency room for shortness of breath and swollen ankles. After an extensive interview, the admitting physician discovered that Mr. Jones has been admitted two weeks earlier with the same symptoms and had been diagnosed with congestive heart failure. At that time he spent four days in the hospital and then was transferred to a skilled nursing facility, where he spent three days before being discharged with a prescription for a diuretic to help reduce fluid buildup. The admitting physician discovered that no one at the hospital or the skilled nursing facility had explained to Mr. Jones the importance of maintaining a low sodium diet (high-sodium diets cause fluid retention). Mr. Jones had attended a birthday party and eaten several hot dogs before his latest symptoms appeared. Who should be financially responsible for the costs related to Mr. Jones’s latest admission? Should Medicare or any insurer, pay for readmissions related to errors in discharge instructions? Would it be different had Mr. Jones received instructions for a low-sodium diet but chosen to ignore them?
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Introduction: As a medical professor, it is important to have a thorough understanding of various aspects of healthcare, including financial management and patient care. In the following questions, we will discuss effective communication strategies for budget reductions in hospitals and financial responsibility for readmissions related to errors in discharge instructions.
Answer to Case One: The best way to communicate with department managers about a budget reduction is through clear and transparent communication. It is important to explain the reason for the reduction and the impact it will have on the hospital’s financial health. Additionally, department managers should be involved in the decision-making process to ensure their concerns and ideas are heard.
If there is resistance, it is important to address any concerns and offer solutions. It may be necessary to compromise on certain aspects of the budget reduction plan to gain buy-in from department managers. It is also important to consider the long-term impact of the budget reduction and how it will affect the hospital’s operations and patient care.
Answer to Case Two: Medicare or any insurer should not be financially responsible for readmissions related to errors in discharge instructions. If Mr. Jones had not received instructions for a low-sodium diet, the hospital and skilled nursing facility would be at fault for not providing adequate patient education. However, if Mr. Jones received instructions but chose to ignore them, he would be responsible for the readmission costs.
It is important for healthcare providers to provide clear and effective patient education to prevent readmissions and ensure better patient outcomes. Healthcare providers should take responsibility for their actions and ensure that patients receive the information and resources they need to maintain their health.