Trends include increasing direct care hours, rising acuity level of patients,
higher quality ratings for skilled nursing care centers
Washington, DC – The American Health Care Association today publicly released a report that shows continued quality improvements as providers maintain focus on providing quality long term and post-acute care. The 2013 AHCA Quality Report found that many measurable aspects of quality care, such as direct care hours and national quality ratings, are improving over time, and providers continue to care for more individuals with high levels of dependence.
“The skilled nursing care profession is undergoing a large shift in the types of individuals it serves,” said AHCA Senior Vice President of Quality & Regulatory Services Dr. David Gifford, MD, MPH. “This report confirms that there are more short-term patients with higher acuity levels entering our centers for skilled care than long-term residents, impacting both the types and quantity of care provided by skilled nursing care centers nationwide.”
Each year, AHCA publishes the Quality Report to keep members, policymakers, and the public informed about the advancements in quality care that stem from the more than 8,600 skilled nursing center members nationwide. The Quality Report highlights AHCA member centers’ efforts to improve quality care through specific programs and initiatives, such as the AHCA/NCAL Quality Initiative.
“Quality care will always be our priority,” said AHCA Chair Neil Pruitt, Jr. “We are monitoring important quality metrics in our centers in order to better understand the types of individuals who require our care. With better understanding, we can continue to improve the quality of services provided within our centers.
The 2013 AHCA Quality Report identifies important quality trends in long term and post-acute care, including:
- From 2008 to 2013, direct care nursing hours per resident day have increased at all levels of nursing staff.
- Centers receiving an overall rating of four or five stars on the CMS Five Star rating system has steadily increased to 46.9 percent. From 2009 to 2013, the proportion of skilled nursing care centers receiving five stars has increased from 11.8 percent to 19.6 percent.
- Nearly all (95.2 percent) of Medicare admissions to skilled nursing care centers require assistance with four or five activities of daily living and 61.1 percent of long-stay residents have dementia.
- AHCA members have made measurable progress in reaching goals outlined in the AHCA/NCAL Quality Initiative. In the first 12 months of the program, AHCA members prevented unnecessary rehospitalizations for more than 17,000 individuals and reduced off-label use of antipsychotics for 11,350 individuals.
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The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) represent more than 12,000 non-profit and proprietary skilled nursing centers, assisted living communities, sub-acute centers and homes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. By delivering solutions for quality care, AHCA/NCAL aims to improve the lives of the millions of frail, elderly and individuals with disabilities who receive long term or post-acute care in our member facilities each day. For more information, please visit www.ahca.org or www.ncal.org.