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Gains seen in nursing home quality measures


By Paul Barr
Posted: October 12, 2011 - 1:30 pm ET
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Nursing home facilities improved scores on nine of 10 quality measures in 2010, according to a report released by the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care, a member organization of for-profit facilities, and the American Health Care Association, which represents all facilities.

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Nursing homes showed improvement in the following categories related to long stays, which are generally covered by Medicaid: activities of daily living; high-risk pressure ulcers; in-dwelling catheter; pain; mobility; and urinary tract infections, according to the organizations' 2011 Quality Report. The one measure in which scores got worse was the long-stay category of use of physical restraints, according to the report.

Improvement was made in all three short-stay categories, which are generally paid for by Medicare: delirium, pain and pressure ulcers.

The report also makes recommendations about how to improve the quality measures, suggesting that more short-stay measures be developed and endorsed, a previously raised issue. The report also suggests that risk-adjustment methodologies be refined and improved and that measures be developed that can be used in different post-acute settings, such as skilled-nursing facilities, inpatient rehabilitation facilities and home health.


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