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As per a recent study, confirming the best PAC (post acute care) results for an assisted living resident requires understanding the landscape of long-term care (LTC) services. The University of Rochester’s investigators examined the links between PAC referrals to home healthcare, home and nursing homes and outcomes 30 days and 60 days post hospital discharge.
The investigators have discovered that nursing homes are the best PAC referral environment for America’s assisted living facility occupants. As per their discovery, home settings without residential healthcare, home settings with residential healthcare and other environments come at the second, third and fourth positions here.
The outcomes of the occupants after the said number of days vary across those settings, according to multiple features of the person, the facility, the location, and the discharging facility.
Discharge to a nursing home is related to the fewest emergency department and hospital readmissions as compared to other locations. However, a nursing home placement also has higher chances of a prolonged LTC stay and fatality as compared to a discharge to a home with residential healthcare. Referrals to a home with residential healthcare and a home setting without it are also associated with an array of adverse and desirable outcomes.
The results underline the complex nature of these PAC transitions, which must consider not only the needs of the occupants but also the available bed count.
Furthermore, hospital discharge planners and clinicians are often not familiar with the target populations and services of assisted living facilities and nursing homes. Besides, recent reforms are likely to impact the capability and willingness of post acute facility providers to offer some care to their patients.
The industry of assisted living locations is the quickest-growing sector for residential care in the US. Therefore, improved communication from every acute care stakeholder and PAC stakeholder would aid in ensuring that people end up in the right settings. There is a need for further work to confirm that people who are more vulnerable than others, like ethnic/racial minorities and dementia patients, get the right form of care.
As for the investigators, during hospital discharge, discharge planners and clinicians should get information regarding the availability and form of assisted living services for the discharge referrals that suit those occupants.
More information about the study is accessible on the website of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.