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AHCA tasks members to reduce hospital readmissions, off-label use of antipsychotics

February 23, 2012
by Kevin Kolus
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The American Health Care Association (AHCA) announced Wednesday a multi-year initiative to meet new quality goals, which target hospital readmission rates and staff retention in skilled nursing facilities.

The four “Quality Initiative” goals have been defined for the next three years to set specific benchmarks for long-term and post-acute care quality improvement. “[AHCA] is challenging its membership to hold itself accountable in ensuring a higher quality, lower cost healthcare system,” the association said in a statement.

The four main goals of the Quality Initiative are:

1. Reducing the number of resident hospital readmissions within 30 days of a SNF stay by 15 percent by March 2015, or 26,000 fewer residents being re-hospitalized annually.

2. Reducing turnover among all nursing staff—RNs, LVNs, CNAs—by 15 percent by March 2015.

3. Reducing the off-label use of antipsychotics in nursing home residents by 15 percent by December 2012, helping residents “avoid the health complications that come with the drugs,” AHCA said.

4. Increasing the number of consumers who would recommend their facility to others up to 90 percent by March 2015.

“This is an effort that builds upon existing work our profession is doing to advance quality by setting specific, measurable targets to further improve care,” said Neil Pruitt, Jr., Chairman of AHCA’s Board of Governors.

AHCA’s sister organization, the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL), is also developing its own specific measures and targets for quality improvement, although a timetable for their release was not available.

AHCA/NCAL has created a volunteer-led “Quality Cabinet” to coordinate and monitor the progress of the Quality Initiative.

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