RAFT Model Cuts Emergency Department Transfers in SNF Population

August 19, 2019

Three rural skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) using the Reducing Avoidable Facility Transfers (RAFT) model saw emergency department (ED) trips from their facilities to hospitals decline “substantially,” and they also recorded a reduction in some acute health care utilization, according to research in the August JAMDA, the journal of AMDA–The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.

These new data lend credence to the positives that can result from deploying the RAFT model,  research authors said. The RAFT model seeks to bring closer monitoring of a resident’s care plan and more expert clinical evaluations in order to prevent unnecessary hospitalizations for those in long term and post-acute care.  

The researchers noted that the model consists of several components, including having a small team of providers who manage care and after-hours calls; a systematic understanding of advance care plans, including acute-care preferences; increased engagement of the provider during an acute-care event; and biweekly meetings to discuss or review each case.

“While results varied across categories, all three SNFs in the study demonstrated substantial reductions in ED transfers and hospitalizations (between Jan. 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017),” the study said.

For the three SNFs in the study, mean average of monthly ED transfers decreased by 35.8 percent. Mean monthly hospitalizations decreased by 30.5 percent. Although the authors did not have access to health insurance claims data, they were able to document reductions in monthly post-acute and long term care charges.