CMS extends nursing home improvement initiative

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will extend its initiative to improve care in nursing facilities, the agency announced Thursday.

CMS' Initiative to Reduce Avoidable Hospitalizations among Nursing Facility Residents will provide a new funding opportunity for organizations currently participating in the initiative to test the efficacy of a new payment model. The new payment model aims to improve care and reduce hospitalizations by funding higher-intensity interventions for nursing home residents who may otherwise be hospitalized for acute changes in their condition.

The model also includes payments to physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants similar to payments they would receive treating patients in a hospital.

The new payment phase of the initiative is slated to begin in October 2016, and last four years. The Initiative to Reduce Avoidable Hospitalizations among Nursing Facility Residents is now in its third year, and includes 144 nursing facilities in Alabama, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Nevada.