Including unpaid caregivers into discharge planning for the elderly patient population reduces readmissions.

The Journal  of the American Geriatrics Society published the study. Researchers conducted a systemic review of previous research designed to assess the effect of caregiver integration in discharge planning on healthcare costs. Analysis of the studies revealed integrating informal caregivers — often times spouses or family members — into the discharge planning practice was associated with a 25 percent reduction in the likelihood of an elderly patient being readmitted to the hospital within 90 days of discharge and a 24 percent reduction in the possibility of readmission within 180 days of discharge.

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