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Alabama Organization to Promote Consistent Assignment

October 4, 2012

The Alabama Quality Assurance Foundation (AQAF) has received a federal grant to help lower the state’s rehospitalization rates by promoting consistent assignment in 23 nursing facilities.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded the grant to AQAF, along with six other organizations across the country, as part of its Initiative to Reduce Avoidable Hospitalizations Among Nursing Facility Residents.

The initiative is designed to “improve the quality of care and help reduce avoidable hospitalizations among nursing facility residents” by using various methods, a CMS press release said.

AQAF is the only grant recipient to focus on consistent assignment, and to explicitly include direct-care workers in its intervention.

AQAF will implement an intervention in 23 Alabama nursing facilities, according to a CMS fact sheet (pdf).

Each of the 23 facilities will begin adopting and measuring consistent assignment in accordance with terms defined by the Advancing Excellence in America’s Nursing Homes campaign.

Additionally, the facilities will implement the EMPOWER training to help staff manage relationships while effectively juggling their professional demands, and INTERACT, a quality-improvement intervention that has been proven to reduce hospitalization rates.

CMS research shows that, in 2011, nearly half (45 percent) of rehospitalizations among Medicare-Medicaid enrollees were avoidable. These avoidable hospitalizations cost up to $8 billion total.

The other grant recipients are:

  • Alegent Health in Nebraska
  • The Curators of the University of Missouri
  • Greater New York Hospital Foundation, Inc.
  • HealthInsight of Nevada
  • Indiana University
  • University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Community Provider Services in Pennsylvania

– by Matthew Ozga

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