In 2013, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) launched the OPTIMISTIC project, or “Optimizing Patient Transfers, Impacting Medical Quality and Improving Symptoms Transforming Institutional Care.” The purpose of this federally-funded program is to reduce rehospitalizations among nursing home residents. Under the OPTIMISTIC project, nurses and nurse practitioners were placed in 19 Indiana nursing homes in order to provide care, support, and education to residents, staff members, and families of residents, with the goal of preventing hospitalizations. Nationally, the rate of preventable hospitalizations is estimated to be as high as 50%.
OPTIMISTIC’s researchers, who are based at Indiana University, recently issued a report showing that the project has reduced avoidable hospitalizations by 33% in its first year of implementation. Additionally, the project helped eliminate up to one-fifth of both avoidable and unavoidable hospitalizations of residents. This led to a decrease in Medicare expenditures of $1,589 per resident per year, for a savings of almost $13.5 million. Researchers hope that the project will continue to eliminate hospitalizations and reduce Medicare expenditures. For its second phase, the project has added 25 new skilled nursing facilities to participate in the program.
Helping to avoid hospitalization is only one responsibility that caretakers have in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes. Unfortunately, neglect and abuse can lead to medical conditions and injuries that result in hospitalization. If assisted living or long-term facility care should lead to abuse or injuries, you may have legal grounds for a lawsuit against the individual and agency that caused the abuse or neglect. If you or a loved one is in this situation, you should definitely contact an experienced Wisconsin elder abuse and neglect attorney at Boller & Vaughan. We know how to protect your rights and potentially get you compensation for any injuries that occurred. When professional caregivers fail to meet the duty of care owed to you or your loved one, it is up to you to hold negligent Wisconsin home health care agencies responsible for their actions. Call Boller & Vaughan today and see what assistance we can offer you and your family.