Reducing hospitalizations among nursing facility residents
Policy environment and suggestions for the future in seven states
The current study examined the policy and market context existing in the seven states where the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Initiative to Reduce Avoidable Hospitalizations among Nursing Facility Residents took place. Stakeholder organizations with knowledge of the skilled nursing facility environment but who were not directly involved with the CMS Initiative were interviewed to assess the impact of policies and programs affecting transfers to the hospital from long-term care facilities. Focused interviews were used to identify areas of quality improvement as well as market forces that contributed to hospitalization rates. Interviews were qualitatively coded and emerging patterns and themes were identified. Market pressures were similar across states. Few policies were found that may have affected the Initiative, but most states had regional coalitions focused on improving some aspect of care. When asked what else could be done to reduce hospitalizations among nursing facility residents, participants across the stakeholder organizations suggested greater presence of physicians and nurse practitioners in nursing facilities, better training around behavioral health issues for frontline staff, and more advance care planning and education for families regarding end of life. [ Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 48(8), 10-16.].