Nursing home pay-for-performance program yields mixed results, report says

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Nursing home pay-for-performance program yields mixed results, report says
Nursing home pay-for-performance program yields mixed results, report says
A federal demonstration program testing pay-for-performance incentives for nursing homes had mixed results, spelling uncertainty for the future of an Affordable Care Act provision, a recent report shows.

Under a pilot program, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services rewarded nursing homes that met financial savings goals and improved quality of care. The program involved 182 skilled nursing facilities in Wisconsin, New York and Arizona, and made award determinations based on how well the facilities achieved financial savings through reduced avoidable hospitalizations and whether it met clinical quality measures, according to Kaiser Health News.

The first year of the three-year pilot program concluded on July 1 and CMS submitted a report detailing the results to Congress.

The program's lead investigator, Harvard's David Grabowski, Ph.D., said first year results were decidedly “mixed,” with Wisconsin SNFs attaining a fairly large savings, Arizona achieving modest savings, and New York SNFs netting no savings.

“The results are somewhat disconcerting,” Grabowski told Kaiser. “There does appear to be some opportunity for cost savings, but we don't have a good sense yet as to whether this [demonstration project] will actually improve the quality of care.”

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