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:
- The Community-Based Care Transitions Program, Section 3026 of the Affordable Care Act, which aims to reduce hospital readmissions, test sustainable funding streams for care transition services, maintain or improve quality of care, and document measureable savings to the Medicare program.
- Project RED (Re-Engineering Discharges) led by a research group at Boston University Medical Center that develops and tests strategies to improve the hospital discharge process in a way that promotes patient safety and reduces re-hospitalization rates.
- BOOST (Better Outcomes for Older Adults) a national initiative led by the Society of Hospital Medicine to improve the care of patients as they transition from hospital to home.
- Transitional Care Model provides comprehensive in-hospital planning and home follow-up for chronically ill high-risk older adults hospitalized for common medical and surgical conditions.
Learn more by reading the complete study here.