Study Suggests Nursing Homes that Successfully Coordinate With Other Medical Providers Reduce Hospitalization Rates

1334534_ambulance%20sxchu%20username%20linder6580.jpgMedical care facility transitions for nursing home residents can often lead to a number of health complications. In fact, up to 20 percent of Medicare beneficiaries who enter a hospital are readmitted within 30 days. A study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association claims nursing homes and other long-term care facilities that collaborate with a patient’s other healthcare providers may have the ability to reduce repeat hospitalization rates. In a report entitled “Association Between Quality Improvement for Care Transitions in Communities and Rehospitalizations Among Medicare Beneficiaries,” researchers led by the non-profit corporation Colorado Foundation for Medical Care found that partnering between medical providers reduced rehospitalization rates by an average of almost six percent in the first 30 days following discharge. That number was reportedly almost three times the rate found when long-term care facilities attempted to reduce rehospitalization rates but failed to coordinate with community health care providers.

As part of the study, researchers analyzed data collected by 14 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Quality Improvement Organizations (QIO) over a three-year-period. The QIOs purportedly focused on quality improvement efforts such as community organizing, coordinating evidence-based hospital discharges, providing technical assistance with regard to the implementation of best care practices, and monitoring. In 10 of the 14 communities that participated in the study, skilled nursing facilities also implemented the Interventions to Reduce Acute Care Transfers model for sharing relevant medical information. In addition to reducing rehospitalization rates, researchers found that collaboration saved each QIO community about $3 million in Medicare funds.

According to Dr. Jane Brock, lead study author and Chief Medical Officer at the Colorado Foundation for Medical Care, the research project successfully engaged entire communities in improving nursing home resident care. This was reportedly the first time researchers focused on successful health care intervention and monitoring. Dr. Brock stated the research demonstrates that community partnerships have the ability to improve medical care for nursing home residents.

Most nursing home and other long-term care facilities located in Illinois are under contract to receive Medicare and Medicaid funds. As a result, caregivers and administrators who are employed at such skilled nursing facilities must adhere to both state and federal laws. Although most nursing homes in Illinois provide satisfactory patient care, some cut costs and fail to employ a sufficient number of qualified staff. This research study suggests that providing quality resident care may actually reduce a facility’s expenses. If you believe a friend or loved one was abused or neglected while in the care of an Illinois long-term care facility, you should speak with a skilled attorney.

If your family member was neglected or abused by an Illinois nursing home employee, please contact the knowledgeable lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. Our hardworking Chicago nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week to help you protect the rights of your elderly or disabled loved ones. For a free consultation with a dedicated lawyer, give Abels & Annes, P.C. a call at (312) 475-9596.

More Blogs:

Federal Nursing Home Deficiency Reports Available Without Redactions for the First Time in Illinois and Nationwide, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, January 24, 2013
Seniors in Illinois and Nationwide May Receive Inadequate Care from Private Medical Providers, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, January 20, 2013
Additional Resources:

Long-term care providers, hospitals successfully partner to reduce rehospitalizations, by Tim Mullaney, mcknights.com

Groundbreaking Project Shows Drop in Hospitalizations and Rehospitalizations among Medicare Beneficiaries, Fort Mill Times

Photo credit: linder6580, Stock.xchng