NQF endorses long-stay hospitalization metric

The American Health Care Association (AHCA) and PointRight, announced that the National Quality Forum (NQF) has endorsed its PointRight® Pro Long Stay™ Hospitalization Measure, which is the first and only NQF recognized measure of its kind to measure hospitalization rates among long-stay residents who have been in a skilled nursing center’s care for more than 100 days.

“This endorsement is another example of how we are improving lives by delivering solutions for quality care,” said AHCA President and CEO Mark Parkinson. “This also speaks to the importance of strong partnerships. Together with PointRight, we have been able to provide the profession with a measure to improve quality care and reduce hospital admissions for the long-stay population.”

Sponsored by AHCA and PointRight Inc., the MDS-based, risk-adjusted measure helps providers monitor conditions that may increase a long-stay resident’s chance of being sent to the hospital from a nursing care center. Hospitalizations often impact a resident’s quality of life, increasing their exposure to issues such as infection and loss of function. In 2014, the Association expanded its multi-year Quality Initiative to include a goal to safely reduce hospitalizations among long-stay residents by 15 percent or achieve/maintain a performance rate of 10 percent or less by March 2018. As of March 2016, 38 percent of AHCA member providers have achieved the goal.

“The use of this NQF-endorsed measure will help providers identify areas to focus on in order to reduce potentially harmful hospitalizations for the resident,” said David Gifford, MD, MPH, AHCA’s Senior Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs. “It will also be a great source of information for Accountable Care Organizations and Managed Care Organizations. I’m confident we will continue to see improvements nationwide.”

Steven Littlehale, Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer of PointRight, added: “A large proportion of long-stay residents are hospitalized at end of life. This measure, along with associated root cause analysis tools, will enable skilled nursing centers to better care for these residents and other at-risk populations.”

NQF endorsement requires extensive testing and evaluation of a measure’s reliability and validity. As part of this process, sponsors are asked to provide detailed descriptions of how the measure is calculated and risk adjusted. The long-stay measure is currently available to all AHCA members, along with peer comparison rates, through LTC Trend Trackersm and also available directly through PointRight.

“Our accountable care environment demands a new approach to reducing hospital admissions and readmissions; we believe we have created the right metric and associated tools in response to that need,” said Steven Scott, President and CEO of PointRight. “Solving the complex problems of our industry requires a data-driven approach, and together with AHCA we are able to arm providers with reliable measures that accelerate quality improvement and establish best practices.”

AHCA launched its Quality Initiative in 2012 to challenge member providers to continue to improve quality in four key areas including, reducing short-stay hospital readmissions. In early 2015, NQF endorsed the profession’s short-stay hospitalization measure, PointRight® Pro 30™. Today, member providers have successfully prevented over 80,000 individuals from returning to the hospital within 30 days of their skilled nursing center stay while saving the health care system over $800 million.

Topics: Executive Leadership