Doctor uses rap video to tackle readmission

LAS VEGAS - A local doctor is calling attention to the problem of hospital readmission in a video that has generated more than a million views.

Z-Dogg is the rap alter ego of Dr. Zubin Damania. He recently transformed R. Kelly’s “Ignition” into his version: “Readmission”.

When he's not rapping parodies, Damania is practicing medicine. He runs Turntable Health, a medical clinic in downtown Las Vegas.

The rap video is his way of drawing attention to the problem of hospital readmission, or when a patient returns to the hospital shortly after being released.

“We call them ‘bounce backs,’” Dr. Damania said.

Less than 16 percent of patients nationwide return to the hospital within 30 days of their release. In Las Vegas, more than 17 percent are readmitted.

“It's a toll on the patient. It's a toll on the physicians, and it's a huge toll on the hospitals,” said Dr. Dale Carrison, who runs University Medical Center’s Emergency Department.

Carrison says hospitals are getting penalized, because Medicare will not reimburse for patients readmitted for the same illness or disease. He calls readmissions a complex problem.

“The physician needs to make certain that they've given the patients the appropriate medications. The hospital needs to explain to the patient why they need to take those medications, and then the patient needs to get the medications and take them,” he said.

Damania's video has gone viral, receiving more than a million views. He says he hopes the publicity will help generate a solution.

Southern Nevada's shortage of primary care and family doctors exacerbates the problem.

Primary care doctors help promote preventive medicine, and they handle follow-up visits, reducing the readmission rate.

Carrison says other communities also send paramedics and emergency medical technicians to visit patients after their hospital stays to make sure the patients are taking their medicine.

Although this option can be costly, Carrison says he is trying to make it happen.


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