Skilled nursing gets new targets for hospitalization, antipsychotic rates and more

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AHCA's Mark Parkinson announced new goals Tuesday
AHCA's Mark Parkinson announced new goals Tuesday

Skilled nursing providers Tuesday got a peek at industry goals intended to advance quality over the next three years.

Facilities should prioritize reducing hospitalizations by 10%, improving functional outcomes by 15%, improving resident satisfaction by 10% and reducing off-label use of antipsychotics by 10%, according to The American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living.

The association announced the new targets at its National Quality Summit in New Orleans on Tuesday. The four new areas of focus areas build on an existing nationwide effort that has promoted quality over the last six years.

“Our members are the driving force behind the significant quality advancements our profession continues to make,” AHCA/NCAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson said. “The next phase of the Quality Initiative sets the bar even higher. The goals we have established will improve the lives of the patients, residents and families we serve.”

The skilled nursing goals are aligned with top priorities for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and federal mandates that link financial outcomes to quality performance. They also mesh well with the quality-driven goals of accountable care organizations and managed care organizations.

The 2021 goals include variations for facilities that have already achieved high-quality outcomes in the four categories.

Since the launch of its Quality Initiative in 2012, AHCA reports its skilled nursing members have achieved reductions the off-label use of antipsychotics by 57% and cut rehospitalizations by 12%.

“Continuing to focus on these key quality areas not only betters the lives of residents, but helps long-term care providers succeed in an evolving health care market,” said NCAL Executive Director Scott Tittle. “All of the goals intertwine to ensure excellence and person-centered care.”

To monitor progress among skilled nursing centers, AHCA will use CMS measures to track progress on antipsychotic usage, and measures endorsed by the National Quality Forum to track progress on rehospitalizations, functional outcomes and customer satisfaction.

Paid association members also can view their progress using AHCA/NCAL's LTC Trend Tracker, a web-based data tool.