Man with Frequent CHF Readmissions Found To Be Half Sponge.

Birmingham, AL --  With seventeen readmissions for congestive heart failure in the last year, 58 year-old Kevin Spencer finally got the answer he was looking for.  Doctors at Baptist Hospital diagnosed him as being half sponge after ruling out all possible explanations for his recurrent CHF exacerbations.

Congestive heart failure is a leading cause of hospitalization in the United States.   Hospitals risk losing millions of dollars through complicated formulas when CHF patients are readmitted within 30 days of discharge.  To reduce the risk of Medicare penalties, Baptist hospital re-engineered their hospital discharge last year, but Kevin kept coming back.

"We tried everything to keep Mr. Spencer out of the hospital, but nothing worked," said Dr.  Jason Harvey, a hospitalist who has copied and pasted at least four of his H&Ps.

"The last time I discharged Kevin, I wrote orders that planned out his life for him, right down to the last minute to try and prevent him from getting readmitted and look where all that time and effort got us."

The sponge diagnosis, reported in the New England Journal of Medicine last month, was stumbled upon by a third year medical student who quipped the possibility while being pimped on the causes of CHF exacerbations during morning report.

CHFer found to be half sponge
"Everyone laughed at first, but then we all thought he was brilliant.  We ordered a stat skin punch biopsy on a Friday evening and we were all shocked when testing confirmed he was half kitchen sponge," said Dr Harvey, who has since implemented a sponge analysis protocol for all heart failure patients at his hospital.

For Kevin, the diagnosis makes perfect sense.   "I kept telling them I don't eat anything with salt and they kept shaking their heads and rolling their eyes at me.  I plan to move somewhere dry because they tell me I'll just keep absorbing humidity through my skin if I stay in Alabama."

"We told Kevin his only chance at a normal life outside the hospital was to get as far away from Birmingham as possible, preferably a desert community in the Southwest," said Dr Harvey, who was happy to learn he will earn a $1,000 readmission avoidance commission from his hospital once Mr. Spencer's move is confirmed.

In addition to Half Sponge, physicians at Baptist Hospital have also discovered most of their readmissions are either Half Dead or give a Half Assed attempt to stay out of the hospital.

"Discharged CHF. Didn't return for 31 days!"

Discharged CHF.  Didn't Return for 31 days humor meme.



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