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Top Tips for Avoiding a Return Trip to the Hospital

One in five Medicare patients is readmitted within a month — don’t be one of them

Want to know more?

  • The United Hospital Fund's guides on the website Next Step in Care can be tailored for your family. Hospital to home? Hospital to rehab? Rehab to home? They cover home care, ER visits, record keeping, etc.

  • The University of California School of Medicine's Care Transitions Program has online tips for patients and families on care after the hospital.

  • The Agency for Health Research and Quality's "Going Home Guide" (PDF) focuses on medication and follow-up appointments.

  • Medicare's hospital discharge checklist (PDF) has pointers on lining up help with cooking, bathing and shopping.

  • "Caring Connections." Talking about whether and how often we want to be in the hospital as we near the end of life is hard on families — but not talking about it is harder. This guide can help.

Joanne Kenen is a Washington writer who specializes in health policy issues.

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