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CMS Extends Initiative to Improve Quality of Care for Nursing Facility Residents

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a new funding opportunity designed to enhance the Initiative to Reduce Avoidable Hospitalizations among Nursing Facility Residents.  The funding opportunity will allow the organizations currently participating in the Initiative to apply to test whether a new payment model for nursing facilities and practitioners will further reduce avoidable hospitalizations, lower combined Medicare and Medicaid spending, and improve the quality of care received by nursing facility residents.

The intent of the new payment model is to reduce avoidable hospitalizations by funding higher-intensity interventions in nursing facilities for residents who may otherwise be hospitalized upon an acute change in condition.  Improving the capacity of nursing facilities to treat medical conditions as effectively as possible within the facility has the potential to improve the residents’ care experience at lower cost than a hospital admission. The model also includes payments to practitioners (i.e., physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants) similar to the payments they would receive for treating beneficiaries in a hospital.  Practitioners would also receive new payments for engagement in multidisciplinary care planning activities.

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