Hospitals slap the government with lawsuits over 'two-midnight' policy to reduce observation stays

The number of hospital admissions and readmissions among nursing home residents dropped in many areas in the United States, according to a recent report.

The Commonwealth Fund’s “Scorecard on Local Health System Performance” for 2016 found widespread reductions in the rates of short stay nursing home residents with 30-day hospital readmissions, as well as long-stay residents with hospital admissions.

Many of the 306 hospital referral regions included in the scorecard also showed improvements in the rate of high-risk nursing home residents with pressure ulcers, and elderly patients who received contraindicated or high-risk prescription drugs.

Overall nursing home quality also has improved, likely due to recent policy changes in the post-acute sector. National quality reporting programs such as Nursing Home Compare and other websites “shine a spotlight on treatment provided in hospital, post-acute, and long-term care settings — all of which have seen clear gains in recent years,” the report reads.  

The report also provides a breakdown of which geographical areas need improvement based on certain quality measure.

Although the scorecard indicated improvements in many healthcare areas, differences between states and hospital referral regions stand as “a reminder that many local health systems have yet to reach the potential attained elsewhere in the country.”

Healthcare across the country has “improved more than it worsened” in recent years, the report’s authors note.