The Financial Impact of a Nursing Home Practice on an Academic Medical Center

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This study reports the economic contributions of nursing home practice to an academic department of family practice as well as the fiscal impact of referrals from nursing home practice on an academic medical center. Payment to primary physician faculty for nursing home service did not fully compensate for faculty effort. Nevertheless, these services did result in significant revenues to consulting physicians and the University Hospital. In aggregate, an average nursing home visit was associated with $33 in charges for the visit by the primary physician, $15 for additional primary care services in the clinic and hospital, $72 for services by consulting physicians, and $307 in charges by the University Hospital. The average nursing home patient provided $3,744 in charges and $2,403 in income to the academic medical center per year, with $1,813 going to the hospital and $331 to consulting physicians. Even though primary care is not well reimbursed, a relatively small number of patients have the capacity to create substantial income for consulting physicians and the hospital. The study does not address whether these nursing home referrals to the hospital utilized disproportionately high hospital resources.

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