Show Your “Readmission Smarts” in a Job Interview, Rae Ellen Douglas of Kaye/Bassman


Show Your “Readmission Smarts” in a Job Interview, Rae Ellen Douglas of Kaye/Bassman Dallas, Texas, 4/12/2013: By Terry Sheridan

Hospitals are under the gun to cut readmissions by making sure discharged patients get the care they need when they leave. It’s one of the most controversial issues facing hospitals. And it’s one you should discuss in an interview, says a veteran recruiter. “Above-average readmission rates indicate transition of care, communication and discharge plans, among other things, need improving,” says Rae Ellen Douglas, nursing practice leader at Kaye/Bassman International in Dallas.

And the higher a hospital readmission rate is, the lower the financial performance.

Financial incentive

The Affordable Care Act created the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program to link Medicare payments and patients’ quality of care. That’s why you’re seeing hospitals make more follow-up calls to discharged patients and focusing on transition of care. Jonathan Blum, a top official with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), testified in February 2013 before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee that readmissions have decreased. After fluctuating between 18.5 percent and 19.5 percent for the past five years, the 30-day all-cause readmission rate dropped to 17.8 percent in the last quarter of 2012, Blum told legislators. “This decrease is an early sign that our payment and delivery reforms are having an impact,” he said. Readmission rates currently are measured by three conditions: heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia. In fiscal year 2015, CMS will expand the readmission program to include more measures, Blum said.

Ask these 3 questions

If you’re told during an interview that readmission rates are high or, even better, discover that in a little research of your own beforehand, you’ll want to ask three questions, Douglas says:

  1. What’s the financial impact been on the hospital so far?
  2. What’s being done to address the readmission rate?
  3. How would the job you’re interviewing for assist in the needed improvement?

And if you know that readmission rates are low, ask what’s being done to allow that. Keep in mind, though, that some of the best hospitals have high readmissions because they serve the sickest and poorest, Douglas says. Higher rates also create “enormous career opportunities,” she says. “People get hired to help hospitals overcome their challenges, meet their goals and solve problems.” So if you’ve put programs in place to reduce readmissions, you’re valuable to an organization — and appealing to headhunters, Douglas says. Don’t think you have to be a management candidate to discuss readmissions, either. Interest by any interviewee will show that you understand regulations and how they impact hospitals — and that you know how your role fits in the big picture, she says.

Read the full story.


About Kaye/Bassman
Founded in 1981, Kaye/Bassman has grown to become the largest single-site executive search and recruitment firm in the United States with the simple mission of impacting companies and enhancing careers by providing the finest in professional, executive, technical and scientific search. Kaye/Bassman provides strategic recruiting and executive search solutions in over 20 industry practice areas including construction recruiting, healthcare recruiting, banking executive search, energy recruitment and many more.  Next Level Recruiting Training, a recruiting training organization, Next Level Exchange, a recruiting training best practices information exchange, and Next Level Marketing Communications are also Kaye/Bassman companies.

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Kaye/Bassman International
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