Amedisys Chief Medical Officer, Michael Fleming, MD, FAAFP Urges the Medical Community to Focus on Collaborative Care with Post

  Amedisys Chief Medical Officer, Michael Fleming, MD, FAAFP Urges the Medical
  Community to Focus on Collaborative Care with Post-acute Providers to Reduce
  Avoidable Readmissions

Business Wire

BATON ROUGE, La. -- January 24, 2013

Michael Fleming, MD, FAAFP and chief medical officer for Amedisys
Inc.(NASDAQ: AMED), a national leader in health care at home, responded today
to the Wall Street Journal article “Return Patients Vex Hospitals,” the
Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) studies on reducing
avoidable readmissions, and Harlan M. Krumholz, M.D.’s Perspective piece in
the January 10, 2013 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine,
“Post-Hospital Syndrome – An Acquired, Transient Condition of Generalized
Risk.”

The Wall Street Journal article highlights the one percent financial penalty
the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has initiated for hospitals
that have higher-than-predicted rates of readmissions for heart failure, acute
myocardial infarction and pneumonia patients. It also noted several studies
published in the online version of JAMA, which suggest that poor coordination
among different providers after patients leave the hospital is largely to
blame for many readmissions, and the focus should be on improving that care.

The New England Journal of Medicine article highlights challenges of
recovering after a hospital stay, not from the patient’s initial diagnosis,
but also from the general risk of adverse health events and physiological
stress patients experience in a hospital. Krumholz cites specific stressors
such as lack of sleep, disruption of circadian rhythms, changes to their diet,
pain, discomfort and mentally challenging situations that result in
“post-hospital syndrome.” He urges the medical community to recognize the
issue and focus on interventions to promote recovery early in the recovery
period that may reduce the period of vulnerability. Ultimately, he calls for
“…expanded efforts to reduce readmissions during this high-risk period, making
hospitalization less toxic and promoting the safe passage of patients from
acute care settings.”

Amedisys recommends hospitals seeking to reduce avoidable readmissions look at
a comprehensive care transitions program as well as other mission-critical
interventions including:

  *RN visit within 24 hours of patient discharge from the hospital
  *Medication reconciliation
  *Medication therapy management
  *Real-time information exchange through electronic medical records across
    the care continuum
  *Telemonitoring / telehealth for certain conditions
  *Pre-determined transfer and care plan protocols

“Dr. Krumholz and researchers at JAMA have made poignant observations at a
critical time for our nation’s health care system. There is clearly a changing
paradigm of healthcare needs in the U.S. - managing chronic disease instead of
treating acute episodes; and the fact that our healthcare system is not
designed to meet these needs,” says Michael Fleming, MD, FAAFP and Chief
Medical Officer for Amedisys.

“We at Amedisys believe strongly that collaboration with post-acute care
partners including implementation of effective care transitions of patients
from acute care settings back home can help patients manage post-hospital
syndrome as well as the on-going management of their condition, especially if
it involves a chronic disease. In fact, at Amedisys we have delivered strong
results in this arena. For example, for one hospital partner we have helped
reduce its heart failure readmission rate by 13 percent in one year by
implementing several essential health care at home interventions and because
they leveraged our care team as an integrated care partner,” Fleming
concluded.

To be directed to the Wall Street Journal article, please click here.

To access the JAMA studies, please click here.

To read Dr. Krumholz’s Perspective piece in the New England Journal of
Medicine, please click here.

To view a case study on how Amedisys helped one of our hospital partners
reduce its heart failure readmission rate, please click here.

To learn more about Amedisys’ Care Transitions program, please download our
free Care Transitions Guide: click here.

About Amedisys:

Amedisys, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMED) is a leading health care at home company
delivering personalized home health and hospice care to more than 360,000
patients each year. Amedisys is focused on delivering the care that is best
for our patients, whether that is home-based recovery and rehabilitation after
an operation or injury, care focused on empowering them to manage a chronic
disease, palliative care for those with a terminal illness, or hospice care at
the end of life. The Company's state-of-the-art advanced chronic care
management programs and leading-edge technology enables it to deliver quality
care based upon the latest evidence-based best practices. Amedisys is a
recognized innovator, being one of the first in the industry to equip its
clinicians with point-of-care laptop technology and referring physicians with
an internet portal that enables real-time coordination of patient care
seamlessly. Amedisys also has the industry’s first-ever nationwide Care
Transitions program, designed to reduce unnecessary hospital readmissions
through patient and caregiver health coaching and care coordination, which
starts in the hospital and continues throughout completion of the patient's
home health plan of care. For more information about the Company, please
visit: http://www.amedisys.com.

Contact:

Amedisys Inc.
Jacqueline Chen Valencia, 225-299-3688
Marketing & Communications
jacqueline.chen@amedisys.com
 
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