Report shows SNF care has improved, with declines in survey citations

Skilled nursing care has improved and health survey citations are declining, according to a new quality of care report. America’s skilled nursing facilities are continuing to build upon quality improvements reported in previous years, including measurable improvements—since 2009—in nine out of 10 quality measurements.

The report, issued by The Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care and the American Health Care Association, presents data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which illustrate positive quality trends in a majority of quality measures and quality indicators. In the past year, SNFs have improved in all short-stay measures, which include patient delirium, pain and pressure ulcers and a majority of long-stay measures including measureable improvements in activities of daily living (ADL), high-risk pressure ulcers, resident mobility and pain.

Contributors to the report found that current quality measures commonly reflect the traditional role of nursing homes and do not allow for proper measurement of rehabilitation services for short-stay Medicare patients, and that substantial change is needed in the area of nursing facility quality measures. “Post-acute care has gravitated to a system of multiple transfers to different levels of care. With this evolution, it is critical that measures of rehabilitation quality follow patients across these transitions over fixed time intervals rather than during individual stays,” wrote Andrew Kramer, MD, a report contributor.

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