Risks of Leaving a Nursing Home

by Matilda Charles

 

Leaving a nursing home to go into home/community care has to be a great

feeling. But a study done at the University of Minnesota shows that

medically, it might not be the wisest move.

 

Researchers looked at whether there were any differences in the rate of

re-hospitalizations between Medicaid nursing home and Medicaid home/

community care.

 

Yes, there were, and the numbers are dramatic.

The study compared patients over age 65 who stayed in a nursing home at

least 90 days before going into home/community care with those who had a

nursing-home stay of at least 90 days and then stayed in the nursing home.

Leaving a nursing home increased the possibility of having a preventable

re-hospitalization by 40 percent.

 

The Money Follows the Person program seems to be at the root of this. The

MFP helps states with the costs of long-term care support with an emphasis

on reducing the use of nursing homes and other medical institutions. The

Affordable Care Act of 2010 has funded it through 2016 to the tune of $450

million for each year.

 

While it’s all well and good that the goal of some states is to use

diversion programs to move patients out of nursing homes, it’s not

necessarily good for the patient … or the financial bottom line if the

patient ends up in the hospital.

 

Consider the differences: Nursing homes and hospitals have medical care 24

hours a day as they work with doctors and perform required assessments.

Home/community workers have less medical background (if any), no doctors

are necessarily involved and no assessments are required.

The study offered this conclusion: If patients are to be sent out to home/

community, they need long-term care, medical providers and a care plan at

the time they go.

 

Matilda Charles regrets that she cannot personally answer reader

questions, but will incorporate them into her column whenever possible.

 

Send email to columnreply2@gmail.com.

(c) 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.

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