On March 15, 2012, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services initiated a program to avoid unnecessary hospitalizations of nursing home residents. The study found 45% of hospital admissions among skilled care nursing home residents could have been avoided. This is 314,000 avoidable hospitalizations and $2.6 billion in Medicare expenditures.
The five conditions responsible for most of these hospitalizations were pneumonia, congestive heart failure, dehydration, COPD and urinary tract infections.
The new initiative by CMS encourages nursing homes to have adequate staff in the facility to implement preventative services, to work better with nursing home physicians and to do a better job monitoring use of drugs in nursing home residents.