In its March 2012 report, MedPAC commissioners wrote that they "recommend reducing payments to SNFs with relatively high rates of rehospitalizations. Avoidable rehospitalizations of SNF patients increase Medicare’s spending, expose beneficiaries to additional disruptive care transitions, and can result in hospital-acquired infections or other adverse health consequences.”
The report noted that "a rehospitalization policy for SNFs would create comparable policies for SNFs and hospitals, thereby encouraging providers in both settings to work together to better manage the transitions between them."
In a report released earlier this month in Health Services Research, Rahman and co-authors at Brown and Harvard University linked reduced 30-day hospital readmissions among nursing home patients cared for in facilities that have linkages with those hospitals.
"Hospitals that own an SNF send about 45% of their patients to a single SNF compared to 26% in case of hospitals without a SNF," Rahman and colleagues wrote.
The greater the concentration of discharges from a hospital to a single SNF, the lower the number of rehospitalizations, "particularly in the days following SNF transfer…[a] finding that applies both to hospitals that own a SNF and to those that do not."