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$6.5 million awarded for nursing home improvement projects

New efforts that improve the quality of life and care for residents of nursing homes will receive $6.5 million over two years through funding from the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

The Performance-based Incentive Payment Program allows nursing homes to earn these performance incentive payments for dedicating resources to quality improvement and meeting goals related to care, resident quality of life, facility activities and other issues. The program provides up to 5 percent in additional operating payment funding to 74 nursing homes throughout the state.

In this 12th round of funding since the program started in 2006, projects are focused on goals such as ensuring better antibiotic prescribing, improving functional mobility and preventing falls, enhancing nutrition and dining choices, addressing behavioral health needs, and improving sleep and continence management.

For example, at Bethany on the Lake in Alexandria and other Monarch Healthcare facilities throughout Minnesota, a project called "Butterfly Bistro" is designed to improve residents' mood and behavior by offering more resident control over food choices and providing exceptional customer service and other enhancements to the mealtime experience. Expected outcomes include decreases in unexplained weight loss and higher food scores in resident and family satisfaction surveys.

Below are the local organizations receiving PIPP funding in this round.

• Central Todd County Care Center, Clarissa, to improve the dining experience by focusing on how meals are prepared, presented and delivered.

• Henning Rehab and Health Care Center, Henning, to implement an open breakfast program that focuses on customer service and resident choice.

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