Culture Change Practice in U.S. Nursing Homes: Prevalence and Variation by State Medicaid Reimbursement Policies

*Address correspondence to Susan C. Miller, Center for Gerontology & Health Care Research, Department of Health Services, Policy and Practice, Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University, 121 South Main Street, G-S121-6, Providence, RI 02912. E-mail: .
The Gerontologist (Impact Factor: 3.21). 03/2013; 54(3). DOI: 10.1093/geront/gnt020
Source: PubMed


Purpose of the study:
To estimate the prevalence of culture change practice in U.S. nursing homes (NHs) and examine how state Medicaid policies may be associated with this prevalence.

Design and methods:
In 2009/2010, we conducted a survey of a stratified proportionate random sample of NH directors of nursing (DONs) and administrators (NHAs) at 4,149 U.S. NHs; contact was achieved with 3,695. Cooperation rates were 62.6% for NHAs and 61.5% for DONs. Questions focused on NH (physical) environment, resident-centered care, and staff empowerment domains. Domain scores were created and validated, in part, using qualitative interviews from 64 NHAs. Other NH covariate data were from Medicare/Medicaid surveys (Online Survey, Certification and Reporting), aggregated resident assessments (Minimum Data Set), and Medicare claims. Medicaid policies studied were a state's average NH reimbursement rate and pay-for-performance (P4P) reimbursement (including and not including culture change performance measures). Multivariate generalized ordered logit regressions were used.

Eighty-five percent of DONs reported some culture change implementation. Controlling for NH attributes, a $10 higher Medicaid rate was associated with higher NH environment scores. Compared with NHs in non-P4P states, NHs in states with P4P including culture change performance measures had twice the likelihood of superior culture change scores across all domains, and NHs in other P4P states had superior physical environment and staff empowerment scores. Qualitative interviews supported the validity of survey results.

Changes in Medicaid reimbursement policies may be a promising strategy for increasing culture change practice implementation. Future research examining NH culture change practice implementation pre-post P4P policy changes is recommended.

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    • "We conducted individual semistructured telephone interviews with 64 nursing home administrators identified through a nationally representative survey of 2,686 nursing homes conducted as part of a larger study (Miller et al., 2013). Our sampling strategy for the interviews with nursing home administrators was to target nursing homes in states in each of the four major regions of the United States, including states with higher rates of adoption of culture change practices as identified in an earlier survey conducted by the Commonwealth Fund (Doty et al., 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: Nursing home culture change is becoming more prevalent, and research has demonstrated its benefits for nursing home residents and staff-but little is known about the role of nursing home administrators in culture change implementation. The purpose of this study was to determine what barriers nursing home administrators face in implementing culture change practices, and to identify the strategies used to overcome them. The authors conducted in-depth individual interviews with 64 administrators identified through a nationally representative survey. Results showed that a key barrier to culture change implementation reported by administrators was staff, resident, and family member resistance to change. Most nursing home administrators stressed the importance of using communication, education and training to overcome this resistance. Themes emerging around the concepts of communication and education indicate that these efforts should be ongoing, communication should be reciprocal, and that all stakeholders should be included.
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    ABSTRACT: Unlabelled: To understand the process of instituting culture change (CC) practices in nursing homes (NHs). NH Directors of Nursing (DONs) and Administrators (NHAs) at 4,149 United States NHs were surveyed about CC practices. Follow-up interviews with 64 NHAs were conducted and analyzed by a multidisciplinary team which reconciled interpretations recorded in an audit trail. Results: The themes include: (a) Reasons for implementing CC practices vary; (b) NH approaches to implementing CC practices are diverse; (c) NHs consider resident mix in deciding to implement practices; (d) NHAs note benefits and few costs to implementing CC practices; (e) Implementation of changes is challenging and strategies for change are tailored to the challenges encountered; (f) Education and communication efforts are vital ways to institute change; and (g) NHA and other staff leadership is key to implementing changes. Diverse strategies and leadership skills appear to help NHs implement reform practices, including CC innovations.
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose of the Study: To describe key adaptive challenges and leadership behaviors to implement culture change for person-directed care. The study design was a qualitative, observational study of nursing home staff perceptions of the implementation of culture change in each of 3 nursing homes. We conducted 7 focus groups of licensed and unlicensed nursing staff, medical care providers, and administrators. Questions explored perceptions of facilitators and barriers to culture change. Using a template organizing style of analysis with immersion/crystallization, themes of barriers and facilitators were coded for adaptive challenges and leadership. Six key themes emerged, including relationships, standards and expectations, motivation and vision, workload, respect of personhood, and physical environment. Within each theme, participants identified barriers that were adaptive challenges and facilitators that were examples of adaptive leadership. Commonly identified challenges were how to provide person-directed care in the context of extant rules or policies or how to develop staff motivated to provide person-directed care. Imple- menting culture change requires the recognition of adaptive challenges for which there are no technical solutions, but which require reframing of norms and expectations, and the development of novel and flexible solutions. Managers and administrators seeking to implement person-directed care will need to consider the role of adaptive leadership to address these adaptive challenges.
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