Nursing homes can achieve high quality while gaining cost efficiency, researchers find

Share this article:

Nursing homes in the United States are generally efficient and able to control expenses without sacrificing quality of care, according to a recently released study in the Healthcare Management Review.

Researchers from Central Michigan University and Virginia Commonwealth University looked at a wide range of data for 1,430 nursing homes with between 20 and 360 beds. The number of full-time staff, facility beds and residents on Medicare, Medicaid and other forms of payment were considered to calculate efficiency. Quality of care measures included prevalence of pressure sores, use of physical restraints and residents with documented signs of depression.

Out of a perfect efficiency score of 1, the average score for nursing homes was 0.869. Not-for-profit and government facilities had higher average scores. The average score also rose for nursing homes in urban areas and in counties with greater competition among providers.

Of all the quality indicators studied, efficient nursing homes outperformed or were even with inefficient homes in every category except bladder incontinence. This may be because bladder incontinence is not very responsive to facility interventions, the researchers noted.

The study authors said the results do support public policy that sets “standards that encourage striving for both quality and efficiency simultaneously.” However, they cautioned the study “does not allow causal conclusions.”

“On the basis of a cross-sectional study, it is impossible to say whether higher quality is a result of a facility's effort to improve efficiency or whether higher efficiency resulted from quality improvement efforts,” the authors wrote.

Share this article:

More in News

Bulk of Medicaid to be managed care in two years: Avalere

Bulk of Medicaid to be managed care in ...

More than three-quarters of Medicaid beneficiaries will be enrolled in a managed care plan as of 2016, according to an Avalere Health analysis released Thursday. The numbers reveal that managed ...

Nursing home asked for employee's personal information too often, jury rules

The human resources department of a Maine nursing home did not properly protect a former employee's personal identification information, a jury recently ruled.

Test could confirm sepsis within an hour

Nursing home residents might benefit from a new way of diagnosing and treating sepsis made possible by discoveries out of the University of British Columbia.