One-third of nursing homes residents are admitted to the hospital at least once each year, and half of those admissions could be avoided. Preventing them could protect hundreds of thousands of older adults from potential harm and save Medicare billions of dollars.
The problem is neither new nor surprising. But it is tough to fix. Last week, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a second stage of what it calls an Initiative to Reduce Avoidable Hospitalizations among Nursing Facility Residents.