CMS launches SNF program to reduce hospital readmissions

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced the seven cooperative projects that will launch its “Initative to Reduce Avoidable Hospitalizations among Nursing Facility Residents.” The initiative combines state Medicaid programs and skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) in an effort to cut costs and improve care quality.

The Alabama Quality Assurance Foundation, Alegent Health (Nebraska), The Curators of the University of Missouri, the Greater New York Hospital Foundation, HealthInsight of Nevada, Indiana University and UPMC Community Provider Services (Pennsylvania) will spearhead the program, which will involve 145 nursing facilities across seven states.

The program, scheduled to begin this fall, will examine current quality-of-care models and experiment with new ways to provide enhanced services within the nursing facilities. “All selected organizations will have on-site staff to partner with the existing nursing facility staff to provide preventive services as well as improve assessments and management of medical conditions,” notes a CMS press release. “Participants will also work toward more seamless beneficiary transitions of care, and leverage use of emerging technologies, among many other activities.”

CMS’s interest in fostering collaboration between SNFs and government programs lies in the numbers: Nearly two-thirds of SNF residents are Medicaid beneficiaries.

“We view this initiative and the enhanced level of collaboration it will generate among a variety of providers as the key to reducing costly and avoidable hospitalizations for this population that often has the most complex health care needs,” said CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner in a statement.

Topics: Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) , Executive Leadership , Medicare/Medicaid , Regulatory Compliance