Snellville Nursing Home Takes Part in National Study
Scepter Health and Rehab, located in Snellville, was one of the nursing homes involved in the study.
(Editor's note: the following information was provided by the Georgia Health Care Association.)
A Snellville nursing home played an important part in a national study that showed Georgia nursing homes excel at reducing the number of patients readmitted to the hospital, according to a tudy published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
Researchers conducting a program aimed at improving care transitions – when patients move from one care setting to another – for Medicare patients determined that nursing homes in Georgia have helped their communities to reduce readmissions by seven percent versus the national average of only two percent.
Local nursing homes participating in the study were Delmar Gardens of Gwinnett; Golden Living Center-Medical Arts of Lawrenceville; Gwinnett Extended Care Center of Lawrenceville; Heritage Healthcare of Lilburn; Rockdale Healthcare Center; Life Care Center of Gwinnett; Life Care Center of Lawrenceville; Riverside Health Care of Covington; Scepter Health & Rehab of Snellville; and, Westbury Health & Rehabilitation of Conyers.
Avoidable hospital readmissions cost Medicare billions of dollars a year and reducing them is a focus of the Affordable Care Act, which penalizes hospitals that have high rates. To identify and implement best practices, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is working with quality improvement organizations (QIO) across the country to reduce these numbers. The QIOs, such as Georgia’s Alliant GMCF, then work with health stakeholders and discuss reasons for readmissions and how to implement the best strategies for preventing avoidable return trips to hospitals.
“Georgia’s nursing homes are proud of this recognition of their commitment to providing quality care and willingness to implement new policies that save taxpayer money while safeguarding the health of their residents,” said Jon Howell, president and CEO of the Georgia Health Care Association. “Our members in communities all across Georgia are continuing with this work and we expect similar results.”
According to Alliant GMCF representatives, the organization continues to help healthcare providers reduce avoidable readmissions of Medicare beneficiaries across the state. A major component of their strategy is educating long term care providers about Interventions to Reduce Acute Care Transfers (INTERACT), a quality improvement program that includes clinical and educational tools and strategies for use in every day practice in long-term care facilities.
Developed to reduce hospital readmissions and admissions, INTERACT was created by Dr. Joseph Ouslander and Mary Perloe, GNP, and was developed in partnership with Georgia nursing homes who worked with Alliant GMCF. Since January 2012, the QIO staff have trained over 645 nursing home leaders to utilize the INTERACT tools to better assess and care for residents. The program is now being used nationally.
The project prevented an estimated 80 Medicare hospital admissions in the suburban Atlanta area, translating into $750,000 in savings, according to Alliant GMCF.
Founded in 1953, the Georgia Health Care Association is a not-for-profit organization representing long-term and post-acute care providers located throughout the state of Georgia. The association is dedicated to enhancing the ability of providers to provide competent and compassionate care and advocates for quality care and services for frail, elderly and disabled Georgians. GHCA’s more than 350 members serve more than 58,000 individuals annually. For more information visit www.GHCA.info.