A recent study published by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found that over 20% of Medicare beneficiaries experience adverse events during their SNF stay. The study also found that an additional 11% experience temporary harm events during their SNF stay.
The study estimated the national incidence rate, preventability, and cost of adverse events in SNFs by using a two-stage medical record review to identify events for a sample of 653 Medicare beneficiaries. The sample beneficiaries had SNF stays of 35 days or less.
Physicians determined that 59% of the adverse events and temporary harm events were clearly or likely preventable. They attributed much of the preventable harm to substandard treatment, inadequate resident monitoring, and failure or delay of necessary care. Over half of the residents who experienced harm returned to a hospital for treatment, with an estimated cost to Medicare of $208 million in August 2011. The study confirms the need for SNFs to significantly reduce the incidence of resident harm events.