I think the state of medical care provided by nursing homes is abysmal! There are too many bed sores, too many falls, too many malnourished and dehydrated residents.

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is trying something new to encourage better care. CMS announced last week a new demonstration project to test whether cash incentives will help improve quality and efficiency in nursing homes. Its called the Nursing Home Value-Based Purchasing Project. Points will be awarded to facilities based on nurse staffing levels, avoidable hospitalizations, resident outcomes and citations received during inspections. Performance payments will be granted based on points earned. Officials say that money saved through quality and efficiency improvements will fund the performance payments.

The trial project will take place in nursing homes in Arizona, Mississippi, New York and Wisconsin. The demonstration program will run from July 2009 until June 2010.

My Take: Nursing Home owners love to make money…a lot of money…so lets use that incentive to see if we can get them to provide good medical care to the elderly.

Dan Frith
Dan Frith

Dan Frith has over 25 years of experience representing individuals and families in cases of medical malpractice throughout Virginia. He has been named "Best Medical Malpractice Attorney" by Roanoker Magazine and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. To speak with Dan, contact him by email at dfrith@frithlawfirm.com.