Quality improvements in nursing homes, rehab facilities right on track, new report says

Share this article:

Nursing home quality improvement efforts over the last few years have largely met their goals, according to a new report examining quality trends in the nation's nursing homes. The report, which also warned about potential ill effects of any reduced Medicare funding, was released Monday by the American Health Care Association and the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care.

Although there is still room for change, there have been measurable quality improvements in a number of areas, including reduced use of restraints, fewer occurrences of pressure ulcers, improved weight and pain management, and levels of patient activity, say authors of the 2009 Annual Quality Report. Patient satisfaction rates—the percentage of patients who rate their nursing home experience as either "excellent" or "good"—climbed to 85% in 2008, up from 82% in 2007, they add.

The report also highlights the changing role of nursing homes in an aging country: Up to 40% of nursing home rehabilitation patients return to their homes or the community within 25 days. With a much greater focus on post-acute care, the length of stay of most patients is now less than 90 days, according to findings. Researchers also said they found a correlation between adequate reimbursement and quality improvements, suggesting that stable Medicare reimbursements are key to continuing the trend of quality improvements in facilities.

Many of the positive changes highlighted in the report can be attributed to the Quality First initiative begun by providers in 2002, said AHCA President and CEO Bruce Yarwood and Alliance President Alan Rosenbloom. The data and statistics for the report were gathered from a variety of sources, including Avalere Health, Brown University School of Medicine, PointRight, My InnerView and publicly available government information. The report is available www.ahca.org and www.aqnhc.org.


Share this article:

More in News

Profile: AHCA's money player

Profile: AHCA's money player

If there's a prevailing theme around the hours American Health Care Association senior fellow Elise Smith keeps, it's that they are constant.

Residents cheer tractor parade

Residents cheer tractor parade

Many residents of the Oskaloosa Care Center in southern Iowa used to be farmers. They're reminded of their past by the cornfield next to the nursing home — and, once ...

No need for injury

No need for injury

Due to dynamic factors in moving residents, facilities must invest wisely in lifts, slings and batteries to make sure workers stay safe while performing transfers