• Community-based long-term care;
  • nurse care coordination;
  • home visit;
  • home health care

Purpose: To evaluate the clinical outcomes of a nurse care coordination program for people receiving services from a state-funded home and community-based waiver program called Missouri Care Options (MCO).

Design: A quasi-experimental design was used to compare 55 MCO clients who received nurse care coordination (NCC) and 30 clients who received MCO services but no nurse care coordination.

Methods: Nurse care coordination consists of the assignment of a registered nurse who provides home care services for both the MCO program and Medicare home health services. Two standardized datasets, the Minimum Data Set (MDS) for resident care and planning and the Outcome Assessment Instrument and Data Set (OASIS) were collected at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months on both groups. Cognition was measured with the MDS Cognitive Performance Scale (CPS), activities of daily living (ADL) as the sum of five MDS ADL items, depression with the MDS-Depression Rating Scale, and incontinence and pressure ulcers with specific MDS items. Three OASIS items were used to measure pain, dyspnea, and medication management. The Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel (CMH) method was used to test the association between the NCC intervention and clinical outcomes.

Findings: At 12 months the NCC group scored significantly better statistically in the clinical outcomes of pain, dyspnea, and ADLs. No significant differences between groups were found in eight clinical outcome measures at 6 months.

Conclusions: Use of nurse care coordination for acute and chronic home care warrants further evaluation as a treatment approach for chronically ill older adults.