Representing the commitment to pursuing improved quality and the innovations that enable better patient care in our nation’s skilled nursing facilities, the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care (the Alliance) published its 2013 Quality Report on Skilled Nursing Facility Care. The stated goal of which “is to provide an objective national overview of Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) patient care quality, pertinent quality trends, specific improvements, and areas of care requiring continued attention.” The report relies on publicly reported data as well as expert third-party experts to provide an effective assessment.

The release of the report is timely as legislators in Washington, DC, prepare to consider Medicare payment reforms for post-acute care – especially in light of the wide recognition that nursing facilities are a cost-effective and important element in the care continuum.

Some of the top line findings of this report include:

  • Quality Measures (QMs) – as tracked by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) – for short-stay patients, including pain and pressure ulcers, are steadily improving (trending improvement since 2003);
  • A majority of CMS QMs for long-stay residents are improving;
  • Staffing levels as measured by hours per patient day for both licensed nurses (RNs, LPNs, etc) and certified nurse aides (CNAs) have steadily increased since 2005, and the percent of reliance on contract staff has been significantly reduced over the same period;
  • Nearly nine out of 10 residents and their families – a full 88 percent – have high overall satisfaction levels and would recommend to others the facility in which they or their loved one resides;
  • Standardized patient assessment and quality measurement across post-acute settings are necessary to improving patient-centered coordinated care and overall quality of care in our nation’s healthcare delivery system.

The Alliance Quality Report also features three “Spotlights on Success” that detail programs and innovations being pursued by nursing center companies – including Kindred – to improve patient outcomes. The purpose of the spotlights is to provide objective evidence of the industry’s commitment to providing the highest possible quality of care and quality of life to patients by shortening lengths of stay, discharging more patients home, reducing rehospitalizations, and creating better outcomes through rehabilitative therapies.

This report underscores the industry’s commitment to pursuing quality, and ties in to the performance outcomes Kindred published earlier this year through its 2012 Quality and Social Responsibility Report, which included quality improvement in its Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers and Transitional Care Centers.  The report highlighted that:

  • In 2012, Kindred’s Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers discharged 53% of patients home – after an average stay of 31 days;
  • From 2008 to 2012, these centers reduced rehospitalizations by 11.7%
  • From 2008 to 2012, the total length of stay in Kindred Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers were reduced by 27%.