PA works to shift patients to community care

Moving in a direction which has widely been encouraged in national policy circles, the state of Pennsylvania has begun shifting its funding in a manner intended to keep people out of nursing homes and in their communities. Gov. Ed Rendell (D) backs plans which will give nursing homes financial incentives to eliminate skilled care beds, while providing government financing which will keep people in assisted living who need only some supervision. Meanwhile, the state will provide financial help to nursing homes that are willing to focus on less-intense care. According to state projections, the state can save $70,000 to $80,000 per year for every nursing home bed they can take off line. Just as important (and this is your editor talking) it gives a sense of control and comfort to patients which can only help them stay healthier for a longer period. That certainly saves money too.

To find out more about this plan:
- read this Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report piece
- read this Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article

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