Hospital to Community Transitions for Older Adults: An Update for the Practicing Clinician

Paul Y. Takahashi, Aaron L. Leppin, Gregory J. Hanson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Spurred by changes in both population demographics and health care reimbursement, health care providers are responding by using new models to more fully support the posthospital transition. This paper reviews common models for posthospital transition and also describes the Mayo Clinic model for care transition. Models are designed with the intent of managing the cost of health care by reducing 30-day hospital readmissions and improving management of chronic disease. Meta-analyses have proved helpful in identifying the most effective program elements designed to reduce 30-day hospital readmissions. These elements include a bundled and multidisciplinary approach to best meet the needs of patients. Successful care teams also emphasize self-empowerment for both patients and caregivers. There are 2 general types of practice. In 1 model, introduced by Mary Naylor, an advanced-practice provider cares for the patient for a set period of time, which includes home visits. In the second model, introduced by Eric Coleman, a transitions coach, who can be an RN, a social worker, or a trained volunteer, serves as the health care coach, while improving self-efficacy. Both models have been successful. At Mayo Clinic, the Mayo Clinic Care Transitions program has encompassed a 7-year experience, using the services of an advanced practice provider. In previous studies, this model demonstrated a 20.1% (95% confidence interval [CI], 15.8 to 24.1%) decrease in 30-day readmission in controls compared with 12.4% (95% CI, 8.9 to 15.7%) in the control group. Although this model was successful in reducing 30-day readmissions, there was no difference between groups at 180 days. In patients experiencing the highest deciles of cost (8th decile), enrollment in a care transitions program reduced their overall cost by $2700. This cost savings was statistically significant. Both patients and caregivers participating in the program appreciated the home visits and felt more comfortable communicating at home.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMayo Clinic proceedings
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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