Published On: 01-01-2021

Objectives: The purpose of this article is to present six-year findings of the Missouri Quality Initiative (MOQI) to reduce unnecessary hospitalizations for long-stay nursing home residents.

Design: A CMS funded demonstration project analyzed over 6-years using a single group design. Setting and Participants: The setting was 16 Midwestern US nursing homes ranging in size between 121 and 321 beds located in urban and rural areas in one geographic region. The sample of eligible residents averaged from 1819 in 2014 to 1068 in 2019.

Measures: Resident data were analyzed using descriptive methods of aggregate facilities’ hospital transfer rates per 1000 resident days and changes per year of average hospital transfer rates. Individual facility transfer rates were grouped by level of performance (best, mixed, and low). Leadership turnover and engagement were also described.

Intervention: Full-time advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) and an operations support team focused on reducing unnecessary hospitalizations for long-stay nursing home residents.

Results: Total transfers for 2014-2019 was 6913 and the average transfer rate per 1000 resident days declined from 2.48 in 2014 to a low of 1.89 in 2018 and slightly increased to 1.99 in 2019. Eleven nursing homes achieved sustained improvement, five did not. Differences in leadership turnover and engagement were noted by level of performance; however, three outlier facilities were identified.

Conclusions/Implications: The MOQI intervention achieved improved outcomes over six-years in the majority of nursing homes in the project. The embedded APRN’s daily focus on project goals supported by a multi-disciplinary operations team facilitated success. Facility leadership stability and engagement in the project likely contributed to outcomes. Full-time presence of APRNs coupled with an operations’ support team improved nursing homes outcomes, however Medicare currently restricts APRNs hired by nursing homes from billing Medicare for direct care services. This unnecessary restriction of practice discourages nursing homes from hiring APRNs and should be abolished.

Vogelsmeier, A., Popejoy, L., Canada, K., Galambos, C., Petroski, G., Crecelius, C., Alexander, GL, & Rantz, M. (2021). Results of the Missouri Quality Initiative: six-year trends of reducing unnecessary hospitalizations. Journal of Nutrition, Health, and Aging, 25(1), 5-12.

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