Reducing hospital readmissions is a current priority for the health care system. Timely outpatient follow-up is promoted as a key component of transitional care models that have been successful in reducing readmission rates, such as the Care Transitions Intervention, the Transitional Care Model, Project RED, and Better Outcomes by Optimizing Safe Transitions (BOOST).1-4 In January 2013, Medicare-implemented payment incentives for follow-up appointments within 7 and 14 days of discharge further emphasize timely follow-up after discharge as a strategy to reduce readmission.5,6 To date, however, these recommendations rely largely on expert opinion, and there has been little evidence to guide best practices for the timing of follow-up care after hospital discharge.

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