A three-year pilot program by the federal department of Health and Human Services is attempting to see whether cash incentives can boost the quality of care at assisted-living facilities.
Facilities are invited to sign up for the study if they are located in one of four states: New York, Arizona, Wisconsin or Mississippi.
The nursing homes that sign up will be rated on their staffing, ability to m
inimize resident hospitalizations, and ability to perform well during inspections.
HHS expects that the savings generated by improved performance at the Medicare-certified homes will pay for the incentives.
The money may come at a welcome time, as some states are cutting back on nursing home reimbursements and other financial aid for seniors.
The Times Argus reported today that the approved Vermont state budget included a $10 million cut in Medicaid by increasing co-pays for senior prescriptions, reducing the reimbursement and other cost-saving measures.
On the other hand, the New York state budget will increase welfare payments by 30 percent over the next three years, reported the Elmira Star-Gazette.