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Long Term Care

STORY OF THE WEEK


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Brown to Create Most Comprehensive Long-term Care Database

Brown University will conduct research to study the impact of state policies and market forces on the quality of long-term care. The research was made possible through a five-year, $10 million grant from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) awarded to Brown University’s Center for Gerontology and Health Care Research. That database, which will be completed in 2012, will be the first to track nursing home performance and policy on a state level for all 50 states.

A team of researchers and developers led by Vincent Mor, chairman of the department of community health at Brown and a member of the University’s Center for Gerontology and Health Care Research, will create the nation’s first research database. The database will support long-term care policy and practice by compiling existing federal data on Medicare reimbursement claims, patient hospitalization rates and other data with new information the team will collect on the health status of residents, reimbursement rates for long-term care services, the organization of those services, and other topics. That new data comes from a random sample of 2,600 nursing homes across the country.

The team’s goal is to trace a clear relationship among state policies, local market forces and the quality of long-term care, which can be used to determine state and local guidelines promoting high-quality, cost-effective, equitable care for the elderly.

“At the end of this project, we’ll have the single-most comprehensive data set on long-term care in the United States,” Mor said. “This storehouse of data will be used, ultimately, to shape policies that improve the health of older Americans.”

The grant will fund four separate projects run by Brown University’s Center for Gerontology and Health Care Research that will help researchers understand how state policies and regional differences in medical treatment affect the frequency with which residents in long-term care settings are hospitalized for conditions such as hip fracture and Alzheimer’s disease; pinpoint the effects of racial segregation on nursing home quality of care; identify the policy and market forces that dictate the organization of medical staff support in nursing homes; and track state policy changes over a 10-year period and their effect on the use of hospice and other forms of palliative care in nursing homes.

Over 1.4 million Americans live in nursing homes today, and the demand for the services of nursing homes and other long-term care providers such as assisted living facility, chronic care hospital or from an at-home health service provider is increasing. An estimated 12 million U.S. elderly will need some form of long-term care by 2020.

“Most of us will need some form of long-term care during our lives, whether that’s the occasional assistance of a home health nurse or the constant care of nursing home staff,” said Terrie “Fox” Wetle, associate dean of medicine for public health and public policy at Brown and a lead investigator on the NIA project. “We want to be sure that the elderly are getting the best care possible. One way to do that is to craft sound state policies, policies based on real, reliable data on reimbursement rates, staffing patterns and other factors that directly affect long-term care quality.”

Source: Brown University, November 15, 2007


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IMPORTANT NOTICE: This information is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information on the business of healthcare. It is distributed with the understanding that Healthcare Intelligence Network is not engaged in rendering legal advice. If legal advice is required, the services of a competent professional should be retained.



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