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Launching Medical Foster Home Programs: Key Components to Growing this Alternative to Nursing Home Placement

Haverhals LM, Levy CR, Manheim C. Launching Medical Foster Home Programs: Key Components to Growing this Alternative to Nursing Home Placement. Journal of housing for the elderly. 2017 Feb 16; 31(1):14-33.

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Objective: The objective of this research was to examine and explain elements that enhanced or thwarted program growth of the United States Veterans Health Administration Medical Foster Home program. Methods: This qualitative study was conducted nationally through individual interviews over the phone and in-person (n = 22) with coordinators (n = 15 at slow-growth programs; n = 6 at fast-growth programs), program support assistants (PSAs) (n = 1 at slow-growth program), and home-based primary care team members (n = 3), as well as three in-person focus groups (n = 28 total participants) with home-based primary care team members. All participants (N = 53) were involved with programs in existence for at least two years. Results: Facilitators and barriers that enhanced or thwarted program growth emerged around four themes: A full-time coordinator; Unmitigated home-based primary care team engagement; Pursuit and receipt of appropriate referrals; and Match between caregiver, home, and Veteran. Conclusions: To facilitate program growth, program leaders should consider themes identified and how to foster situations and shape policies that put themes into practice.

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