Hospitals Patients Aren’t Receiving Information About the Quality of Skilled Nursing Facilities

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<p>Hospitals are not providing patients with the information they need to choose higher-quality nursing facilities once they’re discharged, new research in <em>Health Affairs </em>shows.</p><p>Supported in part by The Commonwealth Fund, a team led by Denise Tyler with RTI International and Brown University found in interviews with patients and medical staff that hospitals are not providing patients who need care in skilled nursing facilities with data that would allow them to select a high-quality provider. Hospital staff members typically provide patients with a list of names, addresses, and phone numbers of nearby facilities, but no information on quality of care. Of 98 patients interviewed, only four reported receiving any information about facility performance.</p>
<p>Even though Medicare now holds hospitals partially responsible for their patients’ care after they’re released, hospital personnel often mistakenly believe that patient-choice regulations preclude them from sharing data about the quality of different facilities. The authors recommend that Medicare either require hospitals to share data on facility quality with patients or clarify the limits on what hospitals may do to aid patient choice. </p> Read more