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Nursing Homes, Behavioral Health, and Inequities

Am J Geriatr Psych; ePub 2018 Feb 28; Temkin-Greener, et al

Patients with behavioral health disorders, newly admitted to nursing homes, are more likely to enter low quality facilities compared to patients without such disorders, a recent study found. The analytical sample included 3,729,282 admissions to 15,600 facilities nationwide for 2012-2014. Researchers measured quality for overall and staffing domains reported by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in the Five-Star Quality Rating System. They found:

  • Patients with behavioral conditions experienced disparities in access to high quality homes compared to patients without.
  • For example, patients with depression/anxiety had lower access to 5-star homes, for the staffing quality domain compared to patients with no behavioral health diagnosis.
  • Access disparities were faced not only by patients with serious mental illness, as previously demonstrated, but also patients with substance abuse and depression/anxiety who account for one-third of all new admissions.

Temkin-Greener H, Campbell L, Cai X, Hasselberg MJ, Li Y. Are post-acute patients with behavioral health disorders admitted to lower quality nursing homes? [Published online ahead of print February 28, 2018]. Am J Geriatr Psych. doi:10.1016/j.jagp.2018.02.005.