Behavioral Health Delivery Service Discharge Program
Helps Olean General Hospital Reduce Readmissions by 24.14%
The Behavioral Health Delivery Service Discharge Program launched by Olean General Hospital is modelled after a Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center initiative that was presented at a Millennium Behavior Health Workgroup meeting in 2018.
According to Gail Bagazzoli, BSN, RN, Vice President of Quality and Chief Nursing Officer, Olean General Hospital, reliable transportation – a key social determinant of health – is also a critical element in a Medicaid patient’s successful discharge from OGH’s Behavioral Health Unit.
Without access to reliable transportation, patients are unable to travel to local Olean-area pharmacies immediately after discharge to pick up prescribed medications. When this occurs, treatment plans are disrupted, and most unfortunately, can also lead to a patient’s readmission to the hospital.
To address this gap, Olean General Hospital launched in May 2019 the OGH Behavioral Health Delivery Service Discharge Program with support from Millennium’s Innovation Program.
Under the OGH Behavioral Health Delivery Service program, a Pharmacy Courier supports communication of prescriptions to OGH Olean area partner pharmacies, and then drives a Dodge Caravan supported by the MCC Innovation Program to personally pick up and hand deliver medications directly to the patient’s home.
In addition to removing the transportation barrier, OGH also offers patients additional support from The Lyle F. Renodin Foundation (affiliated with the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany) to provide assistance for patients who are unable to pay co-pays.
Gail Bagazzoli, BSN, RN, Vice President of Quality and Chief Nursing Officer
To date, since launching the Delivery Service program in May 2019, OGH’s Behavioral Health Unit has discharged 248 patients; filled 71 patient prescriptions; and linked an additional 27 patients with outpatient clinic support.
And as regards the priority objective to reduce avoidable readmissions, OGH reports the medication delivery program helped achieve a 24.14% improvement from Oct. 2019 to March 2020 for an average of 3.67 patients readmitted vs. 4.83 per month for the period Jan. 2018 to April 2019.
“Challenges with transportation are often a barrier to care that can lead to repeat hospitalizations,” concluded .Steve Nelson, Director – VBP and Performance “The initial results from this program demonstrate how removal of the barrier can yield quality improvement. Compliance to behavioral health medication treatments are key to reducing readmissions and Olean General’s efforts are hitting this objective while providing a valuable service to their patients.”