By Tracey Drury Reporter, Buffalo Business First
Four McGuire Group nursing homes have been selected to participate in a statewide program aimed at reducing avoidable hospitalizations.
The sites — Autumn View Health Care Facility in Hamburg, Garden Gate Health Care Facility in Cheektowaga, Harris Hill Nursing Facility in Williamsville and Seneca Health Care Center in West Seneca — are among 60 across New York participating in the program, funded by the Greater New York Hospital Association Foundation through a grant award from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service (CMS). McGuire Group is the only provider in Western New York selected to participate.
Tha program provides incentive payments to skilled nursing facilities and practitioners to provide treatment at the nursing facility for Medicare recipients, avoiding more costly transfer and treatment at a hospital. F. James McGuire, McGuire Group CEO, said the program strengthens the company’s profile, while complementing existing staffing protocols, preventing unnecessary transfers while allowing patients to remain in a familiar environment.
“It could help bring us more business, but more importantly it allows us to treat patients in place which is less disruptive to them,” he said. “It’s another sign of our clinical sophistication and our ability to treat patients in place, which is a hot-button topic within the health care industry.
Under the new program, the sites will be permitted to bill for special payments when treating six qualifying conditions: pneumonia, dehydration, congestive heart failure, urinary tract infection, skin ulcers/cellulitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease/asthma. It is the second phase of the initiative, following a program to focus on clinical and process-oriented interventions.
McGuire Group earlier this year applied to the state Department of Health to shift the certification of several beds to enable treatment for more acute care at each of the four sites. CEO McGuire said the facilities are frequently at 100 percent capacity, thanks to preferred provider status with the region’s top hospital and medical group practices.
“The stronger or better use for those beds is to use these other clinical programs, be it the initiative by the Greater New York Hospital Association Foundation or others,” he said. “It’s another example of this overall shift in health care where there’s a continued desire to direct patients to the locations where they can get the highest clinical outcomes for the lowest cost.”
Privately owned, the McGuire Group operates more than 760 nursing and rehabilitation beds at its Western New York facilities.