By Marshall Allen
ProPublica, March 3, 2014
"A study by Medicare’s inspector general of skilled nursing facilities says nearly 22,000 patients were injured and more than 1,500 died in a single month — a higher rate of medical errors than hospitals....
Dr. Jonathan Evans, president of the American Medical Directors Association, a group focused on nursing home care, said while he doesn’t dispute the estimates in the inspector general’s report, they are typical of problems that exist throughout the health care sector.
Evans said that patients receiving skilled nursing care are leaving hospitals sooner and that many are not medically stable and have more intensive needs. Nursing homes, originally designed for long-term patients who did not need intensive care, and have been slow to adapt, Evans added.
“You have a system of long-term care that’s trying to retrofit to be a system for post-acute care,” he said. “The resources to care for them and commitment from those sending them from one facility to another haven’t kept pace.”