Healing at Home After a Hospital Stay
Avoid a return trip to the hospital by following these tips.
If you have been in the hospital recently, chances are you probably don’t want to go back anytime soon. But unfortunately, this happens all too often. According to a report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, about one in eight Medicare patients had to be readmitted to the hospital within a month after undergoing surgery. For Medicare patients receiving medical care at the hospital, one in six was readmitted within 30 days.
Some return visits may be planned for follow-up care, but many aren’t. Some patients end up back in the hospital because they are scared, don’t understand the directions their doctors gave them or don’t understand their new medications.
Follow these steps to stay on the path to recovery at home:
1. Ask questions before you leave the hospital. If you don’t understand what doctors and nurses are telling you, keep asking questions. It’s important you understand any directions your health care team is giving you before you leave the hospital.
2. Make an appointment with your doctor. Seeing your primary care doctor within the first week after you are released from the hospital greatly reduces the chances you will have to go back. Your doctor can answer any questions you have and make sure your recovery is on track. Make sure to write down your appointment date and time and put it somewhere you won’t forget. Before you go, jot down any concerns you have and questions you want to ask your doctor.
3. Talk to your doctor about your medications. When you see your doctor, take all your medications with you, including over-the-counter and prescription medicines you have been taking for a while and those you started taking at the hospital. It’s important for your doctor to know everything you are taking because medications you started taking at the hospital may interact with your regular medications.
4. Get support from friends and family. Bring a friend or loved one to your appointment. They can help you keep track of important information.
If you have questions about your benefits or need help making an appointment, remember we are here for you, too. Just give us a call at the number on the back of your member ID card.
Filed under: Medicare News