University of Missouri Nursing School Receives $19.8 Million Grant to Continue Elder Care Research

The Missouri Quality Initiative for Nursing Homes will be used as a national model for senior care and be able to continue researching the early detection of illnesses and interventions in coordinated care, including how to better prevent falls.

Every year at least 2.5 million elderly people are treated in emergency rooms for fall injuries, which costs about $34 billion annually, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. These falls may cause broken bones and head injuries which then lead to further complications such as brain trauma. Reducing senior care costs will be necessary as the government prepares for the large increase in the senior population.

Decreasing hospitalizations continues to be a goal for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The grant money for this research project comes from the budget of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services which is housed under the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services.

The project, called the Missouri Quality Initiative for Nursing Homes, will be used as a national model for senior care. Marilyn Rantz, MU's professor emerita of nursing founded the initiative in 2012, along with a team of MU research colleagues. By implementing motion sensors, such as Xbox Kinects, in various areas of the residents' apartments, the researchers were able to decrease falls. The sensors can recognize changes in walking, bending and other body movements that may signal an increased risk for falls. The average cost of a nursing home in Missouri for a single room is $143.80 per day. Decreasing the need for nursing home stays assists Medicare and Medicaid to save millions of dollars a year.

The nursing school will also use the grant to research the early detection of illnesses and interventions in coordinated care, a model in which several health care professionals work together to ensure a patient's good health. Sixteen Missouri nursing homes have implemented the University's coordinated care model which resulted in a 34.5 percent decrease in potentially avoidable hospitalizations. Nursing home care can cost 

There are more than 16,000 nursing homes in the U.S.A. and Medicare does not pay for an ongoing stay in a nursing home but Medicaid, for low-income seniors, does pay for ongoing nursing home care. 

Plan your senior care plan ahead of time to best know the options and costs of care in your area. Transamerica also offers a free senior care financial planning consultation by calling 1-877-957-9851. Caregiverlist provides the only resource with the actual costs of nursing homes nationwide along with a customized nursing home rating.


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