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Older home health care patients are prescribed PIMs three times higher than others

October 03, 2019

There is no one reason why PIMs are prevalent in home health care settings. "Anecdotal evidence shows that many physicians are not aware of what is on the PIM list," says Dr. Bao. "In our fragmented health care system, we generally don't have an electronic reference for a patient that lists all medications from different physicians, and there isn't a readily available means for professionals to share essential information. Enhanced physician communication with home health care nurses may help to address the problem, as well as better communication among physicians."

Dr. Bao sees incentives for improvement in communication and care coordination in the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed by the U.S. Congress in 2010. "The current payment system doesn't provide incentives to optimize coordination of care," says Dr. Bao. "But when providers in different settings as a group are held responsible for outcomes and costs of care through, for example, an accountable care organization -- a concept promoted in the Affordable Care Act -- this could create an impetus to break the communication barriers that currently exist."

Source: New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College