hospital readmissions

Are Medicare Managed Care Plans Steering Members To Low-Quality Nursing Facilities?

Last year, a friend with complex medical needs had multiple stays at a skilled nursing facility (SNF). He was a member of a Medicare Advantage managed care plan and, as a result, could choose among only a handful of in-network facilities within a reasonable distance of his home. The care he received at the available facility was poor and since [...]

By |2018-02-14T12:43:53-05:00January 23rd, 2018|Medicare|1 Comment

Feds to Hospitals: Improve Your Discharge Planning, or We’ll Make You

Discharge planning is often a broken link in the chain of care for hospital patients. Older adults and others with complex care needs nearly always need follow-up after they are discharged. They’ll almost certainly have to take new medications. They may need bandages changed after surgery, or physical therapy after a stroke. Unfortunately, they and their families rarely get the [...]

By |2016-01-06T16:53:14-05:00January 6th, 2016|Health Care|0 Comments

How Can We Keep Nursing Home Residents Out of Hospitals?

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 [...]

By |2015-09-02T17:47:56-04:00September 2nd, 2015|Hospitals, Medicare, nursing homes|2 Comments

Preventing Malnutrition Among Older Adults

When we think about the health of frail older adults, severe, high-profile illnesses such as dementia, heart disease, cancer, and debilitating arthritis come to mind. But for many seniors, small things can turn a manageable chronic condition into an acute medical crisis. One is malnutrition.  Spend a little time in a hospital emergency department and you’ll be shocked at how [...]

By |2014-08-20T15:48:24-04:00August 20th, 2014|Caregiver tips, Health Care, Hospitals|1 Comment

A Modest Step To Improve Medicare Post-Acute Care

Medicare has a huge and growing problem caring for patients after they have been discharged from the hospital. After years of talk, Congress may be about to take a modest but important first step toward cleaning up the mess, and making sure that patients get care that gives them the best chance to live a healthy and active life after a [...]

How Teamwork Across the Health System Can Keep Seniors Out of the Hospital

Broad-based, integrated, community-wide initiatives can help keep seniors out of the hospital, says an important new study from the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study, done by a team led by Dr. Joanne Lynn of the Altarum Institute’s Center on Elder Care and Advanced Illness is new evidence that by working together, hospitals, physicians, social workers, nursing homes, [...]

How Nursing Homes Can Cut Hospital Readmissions

Too many people make the dangerous roundtrip from hospital to nursing facility and back again. These transfers may increase risks of delirium, medication errors, falls, and infection. There is no doubt that some patients die as a result of these transfers. And, they cost payers—Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance—hundreds of millions of dollars each year. The real tragedy: By some [...]

By |2012-09-12T14:21:31-04:00September 12th, 2012|Health Care, Hospitals, nursing homes|1 Comment

We Need to Connect Medical and Social Care for Seniors

Eighty-give percent of physicians say that unmet social needs lead to worse health outcomes, according to a new survey sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. But only 20 percent are confident in their ability to help patients and their families meet those needs. Talk about good news and bad news! The survey asked about a wide range of social [...]

By |2011-12-28T17:24:44-05:00December 28th, 2011|Aging, Care Coordination, Health reform|7 Comments

Obama Cracks Down on Nursing Home Quality

Skilled nursing facilities whose patients are too frequently admitted to the hospital would face stiff new penalties according to the deficit reduction plan proposed by President Obama on Sept. 20. These admissions are often caused by falls, infections, or poor medication management. Overall, as part of a broad deficit reduction plan, Obama would cut more than $300 billion from projected [...]

By |2011-09-28T14:49:45-04:00September 28th, 2011|Hospitals, Medicaid, Medicare, nursing homes|4 Comments

A New Way to Slow the Revolving Door Between Skilled Nursing Facilities and Hospitals

We all know the sad story: Despite extensive rehab, a patient in a skilled nursing facility is failing. Instead of improving, she is finds herself returning to the local hospital with trouble breathing, heart failure, or unmanaged pain. Eventually, she may die in the hospital hooked up to a ventilator and feeding tube that she never wanted. A team at [...]

By |2011-06-15T20:47:34-04:00June 15th, 2011|End of life, Hospitals, Medicare, nursing homes|1 Comment