Back in October, the AARP Public Policy Institute published an article that highlighted different states’ strategies in terms of reducing the risk of long-term nursing home care following a period of hospitalization. According to the article, in 2015, one out of every five hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries was discharged to a skilled nursing facility (SNF). Although most of these individuals stayed only a few days or weeks in a SNF, some ended up staying for much longer periods of time, especially those who suffer from dementia or are very frail. Medicare covers only the first 100 days after a hospitalization of three days or more; if an individual needs to stay beyond that timeframe, then he or she may have difficulty paying for the costs, unless he or she qualifies for Medicaid. However, there are some ways that states can utilize certain strategies in order to reduce nursing home care needs after hospitalization, which also should minimize the expenses of long-term care.
First, states can develop a community transition plan to help nursing home residents return to the community as quickly as possible. These plans outline what resources are available to the residents and what costs are covered. The resident and his or her loved ones then can decide what the next steps should be, with the ultimate goal of transitioning back into the community.
States also could attempt to divert appropriate individuals directly into their homes with supportive services after hospitalization, rather than discharge them to SNFs. If home health care services, therapists, and/or other sources of community care are available to assist the individual at home, he or she may be able to skip the SNF stay altogether. While doing this takes some individualized planning, it can help reduce or eliminate SNF stays.
While the movement toward reducing long stays at SNFs is positive, there are still some individuals who must stay in SNFs for longer periods of time. The nursing home abuse lawyers of Boller & Vaughan are experienced in ensuring that nursing homes and other elderly care facilities live up to reasonable standards in caring for their residents. When a nursing home or other type of facility fails to do so, and injury to a resident occurs, the facility may be liable for those injuries. We know how to investigate your case, assess your situation and determine whether you or your loved one has any potential claims against nursing home staff or the nursing home itself. Contact Boller & Vaughan today and learn how we can help you through this difficult situation.