Provider Visit Patterns to Nursing Home Patients
The Nursing Home Connection — a demonstration project sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Public Welfare with waivers from the Health Care Financing Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services — tests the use of provider teams made up of physicians and nurse practitioners or physician assistants (NPs/PAs) to treat nursing home patients. Within this model, NPs/PAs assume much of the primary care responsibility for nursing home patients. The program seeks to demonstrate that these provider teams will deliver higher quality care to nursing home patients at lower overall costs. This Note analyzes the nursing home visit patterns of demonstration providers. The authors conclude that (1) visit intervals have lengthened as the demonstration has matured, (2) older and perhaps more needy patients have shorter intervals between visits, (3) patients with shorter nursing home stays have shorter intervals between visits, (4) patients enrolled with groups where physicians make larger shares of the visits have longer intervals between visits, and (5) patients in nursing homes with larger numbers of demonstration patients have shorter intervals between visits.