Study: Quality measures are needed for end-of-life care

Share this article:
Study: Quality measures are needed for end-of-life care
Study: Quality measures are needed for end-of-life care
As the number of people who choose nursing homes for end-of-life care continues to rise, more quality measures are needed to help consumers judge performance, a new study recommends.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services currently uses two quality measures for evaluating end-of-life care. They are the number of dying residents who were transferred to a hospital and subsequently died there, and the use of hospice care in nursing homes.

Investigators say they would like to see two new measures added to CMS' list: assessing the level of a resident's pain and determining if there is shortness of breath. Nurses are expected to play a key role in these assessments.

By 2020, 40% of Americans are expected to be receiving end-of-life care in a nursing home. But experts assert that while there is increased adoption of healthcare facility “report cards,” none of them adequately reflects which facilities provide the best care in this area. They say this lack of information prevents potential residents and families from making informed choices.

“We know that there is a correlation between the publishing of quality measures and subsequent steps taken by providers — be that a nursing home or a hospital — to improve care,” said Dana B. Mukamel, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Medicine and senior fellow with the Health Policy Research Institute at the University of California-Irvine.

The study was in the Journal of Palliative Medicine.
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.