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Cost Analysis of Physician Assistant Home Visit Program to Reduce Readmissions After Cardiac Surgery
This retrospective study analyzed the relative cost-effectiveness of a physician assistant home care (PAHC) program in terms of readmission rates, length of stay, and health care cost. The study hospital switched from a conventional discharge treatment plan (control) in September 2010 to a PAHC program. A total of 1,185 patients who were discharged home after cardiovascular surgery were included in the analysis.
The authors found the following:
- Readmission rates decreased by 41% for propensity-matched patients.
- There was no signifiant difference in LOS.
- Institution of the PAHC program saved $39 for every incremental dollar spent on the program.
Comment: Accordingly, this single center study suggests that the institution of a PA (or NP) home visit program may be extremely cost-effective. This is a strategy that may make a great deal of sense of bundling of payments for cardiovascular services becomes mainstream.