Hospital Readmission Penalties Approaching for Nursing Home Patients
A significant number of older adults are not ready to go home when they leave the hospital. About one-fifth are discharged to one of the nation’s 15,000 skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) for rehabilitative care. With new federal legislation set to penalize both the hospital and skilled nursing facility if rehospitalization occurs within 30 days, clinician-researchers from the Indiana University Center for Aging Research and Regenstrief Institute highlight potential problems with the new mandate. Skilled nursing facilities are designed for short-term stay following hospital discharge to supply the medical, rehabilitation, and other support that family and caregivers are not trained or equipped to provide. In 2012, SNFs received $26.5 billion in Medicare payments.
“By making SNFs more accountable for the care they provide by initiating a 30-day readmission penalty rule, the federal government is advocating for patients,” said Dr. Carnahan, lead author of the commentary. “But as physician-researchers, we believe there will be critical problems for patient care that need to be addressed before this provision of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act rolls out in 2018.” A 2013 report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General found that one in three SNFs failed to meet required discharge planning requirements when SNF patients were discharged to home.
David Wingate is an elder law attorney at the Elder Law Office of David Wingate, LLC. The elder law office services clients with powers of attorneys, living wills, Wills, Trusts, Medicaid and asset protection. The Elder Law office has locations in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland.