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Trauma transitional care coordination

A mature system at work

Hall, Erin C., MD; Tyrrell, Rebecca L., RNCCCTM; Doyle, Karen E., RN; Scalea, Thomas M., MD; Stein, Deborah M., MD

Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery: May 2018 - Volume 84 - Issue 5 - p 711–717
doi: 10.1097/TA.0000000000001818
AAST 2017 Podium Paper

BACKGROUND We have previously demonstrated effectiveness of a Trauma Transitional Care Coordination (TTCC) Program in reducing 30-day readmission rates for trauma patients most at risk. With program maturation, we achieved improved readmission rates for specific patient populations.

METHODS TTCC is a nursing driven program that supports patients at high risk for 30-day readmission. The TTCC interventions include calls to patients within 72 hours of discharge, complete medication reconciliation, coordination of medical appointments, and individualized problem solving. Account IDs were used to link TTCC patients with the Health Services Cost Review Commission database to collect data on statewide unplanned 30-day readmissions.

RESULTS Four hundred seventy-five patients were enrolled in the TTCC program from January 2014 to September 2016. Only 10.5% (n = 50) of TTCC enrollees were privately insured, 54.5% had Medicaid (n = 259), and 13.5% had Medicare (n = 64). Seventy-three percent had Health Services Cost Review Commission severity of injury ratings of 3 or 4 (maximum severity of injury = 4). The most common All Patient Refined Diagnosis Related Groups for participants were: lower-extremity procedures (n = 67, 14%); extensive abdominal/thoracic procedures (n = 40, 8.4%); musculoskeletal procedures (n = 37, 7.8%); complicated tracheostomy and upper extremity procedures (n = 29 each, 6.1%); infectious disease complications (n = 14, 2.9%); major chest/respiratory trauma, major small and large bowel procedures and vascular procedures (n = 13 each, 2.7%). The TTCC participants with lower-extremity injury, complicated tracheostomy, and bowel procedures had 6-point reduction (10% vs. 16%, p = 0.05), 11-point reduction (13% vs. 24%, p = 0.05), and 16-point reduction (11% vs. 27%, p = 0.05) in 30-day readmission rates, respectively, compared to those without TTCC.

CONCLUSION Targeted outpatient support for high-risk patients can decrease 30-day readmission rates. As our TTCC program matured, we reduced 30-day readmission in patients with lower-extremity injury, complicated tracheostomy and bowel procedures. This represents over one million-dollar savings for the hospital per year through quality-based reimbursement.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE Therapeutic/care management, level III.

From the Department of Surgery (E.C.H.), MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC; Department of Surgery (E.C.H.), Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center (R.T., K.D., T.M.S., D.M.S.), University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.

Submitted: August 1, 2017, Revised: December 1, 2017, Accepted: January 8, 2018, Published online: January 24, 2018.

Presented at the 76th Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, September 12th, 2017 in Baltimore MD.

Address for reprints: Erin C. Hall, MD, MedStar Washington Hospital Center, 110 Irving St NW, Washington, DC; email:

© 2018 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.