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Written by: John Wolf on Wednesday, October 5, 2011 Posted in:

A study published in the Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences found that Medicare patients who are hospitalized for acute care procedures are “at an ‘extremely high risk’ for needing long-term care in a nursing home.”

The study included a 5% sample of Medicare enrollees aged 66 years or older which equaled 762,243 patients admitted 1,149,568 times between 1996–2008, with 3,880,292 non-hospitalized control patients. The study then measured residence in a nursing home 6 months after hospitalization.

Results of the study showed that from 1996 through 2008, 5.55% of hospitalized patients resided in a nursing home 6 months later compared with 0.54% of non-hospitalized control patients.  An interesting finding of the study showed that patients who were cared for in larger hospitals or in major teaching hospitals were less likely to be in a long-term care nursing home 6 months after discharge.

Many programs are emerging to help decrease the number of hospitalized elderly from entering nursing homes including:

Learn more by reading the complete study here.