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Mixed Results from Test Program Giving Awards to Nursing Homes for Cost Savings and Quality of Care

An attempt to see if financial incentives might improve quality of care at nursing homes had mixed results, according to an article on McKnights.com.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services conducted a pilot program where nursing homes would be rewarded if they met financial savings goals and improved quality of care. The program includes 182 skilled nursing facilities in Wisconsin, New York, and Arizona. Awards were based on how well the facilities achieved finanicial savings through reducing avoidable hospitalizations and if they met clinical measures.

According to the article, the program’s lead investigator, David Grabowski, Ph.D., said the first year’s results were “mixed” with Wisconson getting fairly large savings, Arizona getting modest savings, and New York getting no savings.

Grabowski went on to say, “There does appear to be some opportunity for cost savings, but we don’t have a good sense yet as to whether this [demonstration project] will actually improve the quality of care.”