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 Lead Provider Advocate To Announce New Quality Metrics

Provider advocates will set new and loftier benchmarks for quality elder and rehabilitative care, the nation’s largest long term and post-acute group is expected to announce Thursday.
Member centers in the American Health Care Association (AHCA) have already exceeded federal goals of cutting back on the improper use of antipsychotic medications; on Thursday, the group will announce that it is also advancing more than six new quality metrics, with a strategic focus on three priorities: organizational success, short term/post-acute care, and long-stay/dementia care.
The new quality goals put the association ahead of even federal regulators at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), says Dr. David Gifford, AHCA’s senior vice president for quality and regulatory affairs.
“We not only aligned all of our goals with CMS national priories, such as Five-Star, but we are also being much more strategic about our approach,” he tells Provider in an email. “Nursing care providers will be positioned to achieve even greater successes in improving outcomes for their patients and residents by focusing on these areas.”
Some of the new quality goals, which members will be expected to meet within three years, include:
·        Increasing staff stability by reducing turnover among nursing staff by 15 percent or maintaining a turnover rate of 40 percent or lower;
·        Having at least 25 percent of AHCA members measure and report long-stay resident and family satisfaction and/or short-stay satisfaction using the Core-Q survey; and
·        Safely reducing the number of hospital readmissions by another 15 percent, or maintaining a readmission rate at 10 percent or lower.
The targets are more “ambitious” than ACHA’s previous efforts, Gifford acknowledges, but the association is confident that they’re not only achievable, but also vital.
Len Russ, a New York provider and chair of AHCA's board of directors, says the goals themselves are groundbreaking because they remind providers—and the public—that improving quality “is a journey.”
“It’s about beginning and never stopping,” he says. “It gives us all goals to achieve so we can continue to deliver high-quality care and improve the lives of those we serve every day.”
Bill Myers is Provider’s senior editor. Email him at Follow him on Twitter, @ProviderMyers
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