The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has selected seven organizations that will work with 145 nursing homes in seven states to test new models to improve the quality of care and reduce hospitalizations.
The Initiative to Reduce Avoidable Hospitalizations among Nursing Facility Residents is funded under the Affordable Care Act. The selected organizations will provide technical assistance and other on-site services to the nursing facilities treating Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.
The organizations are Alabama Quality Assurance Foundation, Alegent Health in Nebraska, Curators of the University of Missouri, Greater New York Hospital Foundation, HealthInsight of Nevada, Indiana University and UPMC Community Provider Services in Pennsylvania. On-site personnel will work with nursing facilities on providing preventive services, improving assessments and management of medical condition, developing smoother care transitions, and leveraging use of information technologies, particularly health information exchange. HIE is a necessary component of the program to transmit clinical summaries, medication lists, advanced directives and functional status content, according to CMS.
Government-provided funds for the initiative may not be used for information technology purchases exceeding 10 percent of the total award. Any equipment purchases over $5,000, including I.T., must receive CMS approval, according to a solicitation CMS published earlier this year. Information technology purchases funded under the program must meet “recognized interoperability standards.”
The government funds also may not be used to pay for state-available data, and it isn’t clear the degree to which program participants will have access to government data. “CMS recognizes that some applicants may be interested in receiving Medicare and Medicaid data to inform and measure their programs,” CMS noted in the solicitation. “CMS is open to discussing data needs with all awardees and may provide data in accordance with applicable laws and policies, when appropriate to the particular intervention.”
More information is available here.
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