HealthDay News — Evidence-based clinical and educational interventions can reduce avoidable hospitalizations among long-stay residents in nursing facilities, according to a report published in the March issue of Health Affairs.

Melvyn J. Ingber, PhD, from RTI International in Washington, DC, and colleagues implemented clinical and educational interventions among long-stay residents in 143 nursing facilities in 7 states as part of the Initiative to Reduce Avoidable Hospitalizations among Nursing Facility Residents. 

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The researchers estimated net reductions of 2.2 to 9.3% in the probability of an all-cause hospitalization and 1.4 to 7.2% in the probability of a potentially avoidable hospitalization for participating facility residents compared with comparison-group members in 2015 in state-specific analyses. The average Medicare expenditures per resident were reduced by $60 to $2,248 for all-cause hospitalizations and by $98 to $577 for potentially avoidable hospitalizations in 2015. 

For more than half of the outcomes in these analyses, the effects were significant. The variability in estimated effects was partly explained by variability in implementation and engagement across the nursing facilities and organizations that customized and implemented the initiative. Higher staff engagement and more positive outcomes were seen for initiative models that included registered nurses or nurse practitioners who provided consistent clinical care for residents compared to models providing only education or intermittent clinical care.

“These results provide promising evidence of an effective approach for reducing avoidable hospitalizations among nursing facility residents,” the authors write.

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