MedPageToday.com had a short summary of a new Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) plans to test a pay-for-performance program to improve the quality of care in nursing homes.  All Medicare-certified nursing homes in Arizona, Mississippi, New York, and Wisconsin will be invited to join the Nursing Home Value-Based Purchasing demonstration project, which will run for three years starting in July.  CMS expects to enroll at least 100 homes from each state.

Under the program, participating institutions will be awarded points on the basis of staffing measures, avoidable hospitalizations, resident outcomes, and deficiencies identified during inspections.   Homes that score the highest and that show the greatest improvements over time will receive payments.  CMS expects to pay for the program with the money saved by reducing avoidable hospitalizations through improved performance. The funds will be placed into state pools from which incentive payments will be drawn.

I think this is a good idea but shouldn’t nursing homes provide quality care and adequate staffing anyway for the billions of tax payer dollars they get every year?
 

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