A new OIG report reviews the extent to which Medicare nursing home residents are hospitalized. The report discovered that in FY 2011, one quarter of Medicare residents in nursing homes were transferred to hospitals for inpatient admissions where Medicare spent $14.3 billion. The OIG states that the higher than average resident hospitalization rates can be avoided through better care and recommends that CMS develop a quality measure that describes hospitalization rates and then assess this measure during surveys of nursing homes. CMS agrees with OIG on the recommendations and is working on developing a hospitalization measure for nursing home residents and a re-hospitalization measure for Medicare SNF residents. In addition, CMS will add these measurers to the quality measures surveyors review.
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