By 2030, almost 80 million Americans will be eligible for Medicare, which covers nearly 44 million Americans today. The sheer number of people covered by Medicare requires a skilled nursing facility (SNF) to be fiscally responsible. As a result, the main strategy for SNFs to reduce their costs is to reduce hospital readmissions. Re-hospitalization is defined by Medicare as returning to the hospital within 30 days of being discharged from the initial hospitalization. In addition to increased costs of care, hospitals with high readmission rates face additional penalties and fines from Medicare. Among the leading factors leading to high readmission rates in nursing homes is ineffective wound care. In this blog post, we will examine how effective wound care treatments reduce readmission rates and save facilities money.
With the aging of the world's population and the prevalence of chronic diseases among the elderly, it is anticipated that chronic wounds, such as diabetic leg ulcers, burns, and pressure ulcers, will become more prevalent and carry a heavy economic burden for the individual and the healthcare system.
In order to estimate the cost, two factors are critical: efficiency and time. Has the wound had a noticeable decrease in size? Is it healing rapidly? If not, then it will more than likely increase the cost of care. The cost of wound care directly correlates with the duration of treatment. Shorter treatment courses generally result in lower treatment costs. Alternatively, a treatment can be deemed economical if it reduces the need for repeated dressing changes for a wound or the time that must be spent applying the dressing.
Other important factors to consider are the wound setting, and, in particular, the wound type. Wound types can be categorized as acute or chronic, such as pressure ulcers, venous/arterial leg ulcers, diabetic ulcers, and burns. A wound's type will undoubtedly influence the length of treatment and the cost. Generally, chronic wounds are more costly and more challenging to treat than acute wounds. Wound care can be administered in a number of different settings, including hospitals, surgical centers, home health care facilities, or ambulatory clinics, every one of which will incur different costs. For example, treatment could be more expensive in a hospital setting than a post-acute facility.
This is why wound care programs are critical to the success of skilled nursing facilities. When facilities partner with companies like Skilled Wound Care, they are able to provide cost-effective wound care, reduce complications, and improve patients' chances of healing quickly from wounds. Most importantly, these facilities save money on wound management. SNFs can offer their patients cost-effective wound care that produces better results in a shorter period of time, making wound care less expensive for patients and less burdensome for facilities.
If you work for a facility and are interested in cost-effective wound care solutions, get in touch with us today! With 15 years of experience improving discharge rates and reducing costs for post-acute facilities, SWC has the expertise to support your facility with effective treatments and to improve quality of life for your patients. Click here to see how we can help you today!