MedPAC Considers Giving Hospital Discharge Planners Bigger Role In Placing Nursing Home Residents

September 11, 2017, Emily Mongan, McKnight's Long-Term care News - Almost half of skilled nursing facility residents had five or more higher-quality facilities available in their area that they were not directed to by a discharging hospital, a federal panel shared last week.  

While just under 15% of nursing home residents were discharged to the facility with the highest quality rating within a 15-mile radius, almost half (46.8%) went to facilities that were outscored in quality ratings by five or more providers within that radius, the Medicare Payment Advisory Council said during a meeting on discharge planning held Thursday.  “Non-trivial” is the way the quality gap was described between many of the facilities in question.

Motivating hospitals and patients to choose higher-quality long-term care providers could benefit patients' care outcomes — and lower costs and reduce readmissions for the Medicare program, MedPAC panel members said.

But discharge planners currently are limited by rule as to how they can educate or steer patients on their post-acute options, critics complain.

MedPAC recommended modifying discharge planning rules to allow hospitals to recommend specific nursing home and home health providers — a practice that's already allowed in the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement program.

The group also discussed ........ CLICK HERE TO READ MORE