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CMS Unveils Pilot Incentive Program to Enhance Nursing Care

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) plans to test a pay-for performance program to improve the quality of care in nursing homes. In Medicare-certified nursing homes based in Arizona, Mississippi, New York and Wisconsin all homes will be invited to join the Nursing Home Value-Based Purchasing demonstration project, which will run for three years. The program starts in July and expects to enroll at least 100 homes from each state. The program will have participating institutions being awarded on the basis of staffing measures, avoidable hospitalizations, resident outcomes, and deficiencies identified during inspections. The homes which score the highest and that show the greatest improvements over time will receive payments. CMS is expecting to pay for the program with money saved by reducing avoidable hospitalizations through improved performance. The funds will be placed into state pools from which incentive payments will be drawn. If this program is successful it will hopefully come to Illinois. To read more about the nursing home program, please click the link.