CMS: Demonstration project to reward nursing homes that provide high-quality care

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Monday disclosed positive results from three-so-called pay-for-performance demonstrations at hospitals and physician practices. Now it wants to see if financial incentives also will help nursing homes improve or deliver high-quality care.

Nearly 200 nursing homes in three states are participating in a value-based purchasing demonstration, CMS said. The demonstration, which began in July, will reward those facilities that improve or deliver quality care in four areas: nurse staffing, resident outcomes, avoidable hospitalizations and reductions in deficiency citations. Nursing homes will be awarded points in each area. Those facilities with the highest scores or greatest improvement will become eligible for a performance payment. The demonstration will continue through June 2012.

CMS also said in a statement Monday it has started two gainsharing demonstration projects. Gainsharing occurs when a hospital pays incentives to a physician who assists in saving internal hospital costs while improving quality and efficiency. It is normally restricted in Medicare’s fee-for-service program.

The agency said that three so-called pay-for-performance demonstrations showed that providing financial incentives helped improve care at hospitals and both small and solo physician practices.

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