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60% of hospitalizations from SNFs can be avoided, study says

July 30, 2013
by Sandra Hoban, Managing Editor
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A new study finds that more than half of hospitalizations of nursing home (NH) residents can be avoided.  The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)-funded study, published in Medical Care, determined that 60 percent of NH admissions could have been prevented.

The study’s authors used three measures: (1) ambulatory care-sensitive conditions, (2) additional NH-sensitive avoidable conditions and (3) “unavoidable” conditions in NH residents. The study reviewed data from 2006-2008, which represented a sampling of residents in 10 percent of the certified NHs in the United States.

Findings conclude that three-fifths of the hospital admissions were potentially avoidable. Most of the hospital admissions were for infections, injuries and congestive heart failure. Among the high risks for hospitalization were renal failure and diabetes.

While staffing, quality care and reimbursement can reduce hospitalization for “avoidable” admits, those factors do not have an impact on the unavoidable circumstances for hospitalizations.

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