The impact of home health length of stay and number of skilled nursing visits on hospitalization among Medicare-reimbursed skilled home health beneficiaries.
ABSTRACT: The implementation of the Home Health Prospective Payment System in 2000 led to a dramatic reduction in home health length of stay and number of skilled nursing visits among Medicare beneficiaries. While policy leaders have focused on the rising costs of home health care, its potential underutilization, and the relationship between service use and patient outcomes including hospitalization rates have not been rigorously examined. A secondary analysis of five Medicare-owned assessment and claims data sets for the year 2009 was conducted among two independently randomly selected samples of Medicare-reimbursed home health recipients (each n?=?31,485) to examine the relationship between home health length of stay or number of skilled nursing visits and hospitalization rates within 90 days of discharge from home health. Patients who had a home health length of stay of at least 22 days or received at least four skilled nursing visits had significantly lower odds of hospitalization than patients with shorter home health stays and fewer skilled nursing visits. Additional study is needed to clarify the best way to structure home health services and determine readiness for discharge to reduce hospitalization among this chronically ill population. In the mean time, the findings of this study suggest that home health providers should consider the benefits of at least four SNV and/or a home health LOS of 22 days or longer.
Project description:The rate of hospitalization for venous thromboembolism (VTE) is increasing in the United States. Although predictors of hospital-acquired VTE are well-known, triggers of VTE before hospitalization are not as clearly defined. The objective of this study was to evaluate triggers of hospitalization for VTE.A case-crossover study was conducted. Subjects were participants in the Health and Retirement Study, a nationally representative sample of older Americans. Data were linked to Medicare files for hospital and nursing home stays, emergency department visits, outpatient visits including physician visits, and home health visits from years 1991 to 2007 (n=16 781). The outcome was hospitalization for venous thromboembolism (n=399). Exposures during the 90-day period before hospitalization for VTE were compared with exposures occurring in 4 comparison periods. Infection was the most common trigger of hospitalization for VTE, occurring in 52.4% of the risk periods before hospitalization. The adjusted incidence rate ratios (IRRs; 95% confidence interval) were 2.90 (2.13, 3.94) for all infection, 2.63 (1.90, 3.63) for infection without a previous hospital or skilled nursing facility stay, and 6.92 (4.46, 10.72) for infection with a previous hospital or skilled nursing facility stay. Erythropoiesis-stimulating agents and blood transfusion were also associated with VTE hospitalization (IRR=9.33, 95% confidence interval: 1.19, 73.42; IRR=2.57, 95% confidence interval: 1.17, 5.64; respectively). Other predictors included major surgeries, fractures (IRR=2.81), immobility (IRR=4.23), and chemotherapy (IRR=5.70). These predictors, combined, accounted for a large proportion (69.7%) of exposures before VTE hospitalization as opposed to 35.3% in the comparison periods.Risk prediction algorithms for VTE should be reevaluated to include infection, erythropoiesis-stimulating agents, and blood transfusion.
Project description:Nursing Home Compare quality ratings are designed to allow patients, families, and clinicians to compare facilities based on quality, but associations of the current measures with important clinical outcomes are not known. Our study examined associations between ratings and readmission and mortality among Medicare beneficiaries admitted to a skilled nursing facility with a primary diagnosis of heart failure.We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 164,672 Medicare beneficiaries discharged to skilled nursing facilities after hospitalization for heart failure in 2006-2007. The main outcome measures were readmission and mortality within 90 days.One-fifth of the 13,619 skilled nursing facilities received a 1-star rating and 11% received a 5-star rating. Nearly half of the patients discharged to a skilled nursing facility were readmitted to a hospital within 90 days after discharge, and 30% died within 90 days. Compared with patients in 5-star skilled nursing facilities, patients in 1-star facilities had higher risks of 90-day readmission (hazard ratio, 1.08) and mortality (1.15). After adjustment for facility size and ownership type, the associations between the quality rating and readmission were not statistically significant, but the associations with mortality were significant.Publicly reported Nursing Home Compare quality ratings of Medicare-certified skilled nursing facilities were modestly associated with 90-day readmission and mortality among Medicare beneficiaries discharged to these facilities after hospitalization for heart failure.
Project description:BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE:Heart failure (HF) readmission rates have plateaued despite scrutiny of hospital discharge practices. Many HF patients are discharged to skilled nursing facility (SNF) after hospitalization before returning home. Home healthcare (HHC) services received during the additional transition from SNF to home may affect readmission risk. Here, we examined whether receipt of HHC affects readmission risk during the transition from SNF to home following HF hospitalization. DESIGN:Retrospective cohort study. SETTING:Fee-for-service Medicare data, 2012 to 2015. PARTICIPANTS:Beneficiaries, aged 65?years and older, hospitalized with HF who were subsequently discharged to SNF and then discharged home. MEASUREMENTS:The primary outcome was unplanned readmission within 30?days of discharge to home from SNF. We compared time to readmission between those with and without HHC services using a Cox model. RESULTS:Of 67 585 HF hospitalizations discharged to SNFs and subsequently discharged home, 13 257 (19.6%) were discharged with HHC, and 54 328 (80.4%) were discharged without HHC. Patients discharged home from SNFs with HHC had lower 30-day readmission rates than patients discharged without HHC (22.8% vs 24.5%; P?<?.0001) and a longer time to readmission. In an adjusted model, the hazard for readmission was 0.91 (0.86-0.95) with receipt of HHC. CONCLUSIONS:Recipients of HHC were less likely to be readmitted within 30?days vs those discharged home without HHC. This is unexpected, as patients discharged with HHC likely have more functional impairments. Since patients requiring a SNF stay after hospital discharge may have additional needs, they may particularly benefit from restorative therapy through HHC; however, only approximately 20% received such services. J Am Geriatr Soc 68:96-102, 2019.
Project description:To evaluate the effect of Medicaid bed-hold policies on hospitalization of long-stay nursing home residents.A nationwide random sample of long-stay nursing home residents with data elements from Medicare claims and enrollment files, the Minimum Data Set, the Online Survey Certification and Reporting System, and Area Resource File. The sample consisted of 22,200,089 person-quarters from 754,592 individuals who became long-stay residents in 17,149 nursing homes over the period beginning January 1, 2000 through December 31, 2005.Linear regression models using a pre/post design adjusted for resident, nursing home, market, and state characteristics. Nursing home and year-quarter fixed effects were included to control for time-invariant facility influences and temporal trends associated with hospitalization of long-stay residents.Adoption of a Medicaid bed-hold policy was associated with an absolute increase of 0.493 percentage points (95% CI: 0.039-0.946) in hospitalizations of long-stay nursing home residents, representing a 3.883 percent relative increase over the baseline mean.Medicaid bed-hold policies may increase the likelihood of hospitalization of long-stay nursing home residents and increase costs for the federal Medicare program.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To examine changes in more and less discretionary condition-specific postacute care use (skilled nursing, inpatient rehabilitation, home health) associated with Medicare accountable care organization (ACO) implementation. DATA SOURCES:2009-2014 Medicare fee-for-service claims. STUDY DESIGN:Difference-in-difference methodology comparing postacute outcomes after hospitalization for hip fracture and stroke (where rehabilitation is fundamental to the episode of care) to pneumonia, (where it is more discretionary) for beneficiaries attributed to ACO and non-ACO providers. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:Across all 3 cohorts, in the baseline period ACO patients were more likely to receive Medicare-paid postacute care and had higher episode spending. In hip fracture patients where rehabilitation is standard of care, ACO implementation was associated with 6%-8% increases in probability of admission to a skilled nursing facility or inpatient rehabilitation (compared with home without care), and a slight reduction in readmissions. In a clinical condition where rehabilitation is more discretionary, pneumonia, ACO implementation was not associated with changes in postacute location, but episodic spending decreased 2%-3%. Spending decreases were concentrated in the least complex patients. Across all cohorts, the length of stay in skilled nursing facilities decreased with ACO implementation. CONCLUSIONS:ACOs decreased spending on postacute care by decreasing use of discretionary services. ACO implementation was associated with reduced length of stay in skilled nursing facilities, while hip fracture patients used institutional postacute settings at higher rates. Among pneumonia patients, we observed decreases in spending, readmission days, and mortality associated with ACO implementation.
Project description:Background:Understanding and addressing racial and ethnic disparities in the quality of post-acute care in skilled nursing facilities is an important health policy issue, particularly as the Medicare program initiates value-based payments for these institutions. Methods:Our final cohort included 649,187 Medicare beneficiaries in either the fee-for-service or Medicare Advantage programs, who were 65 and older and were admitted to a skilled nursing facility following an acute hospital stay, from 8,375 skilled nursing facilities. We examined the quality of care in skilled nursing facilities that disproportionately serve minority patients compared to non-Hispanic whites. Three measures, all calculated at the level of the facility, were used to assess quality of care in skilled nursing facilities: 1) 30-day rehospitalization rate; 2) successful discharge from the facility to the community; and 3) Medicare five-star quality ratings. Results:We found that African-American post-acute patients are highly concentrated in a small number of institutions, with 28% of facilities accounting for 80% of all post-acute admissions for African-American patients. Similarly, just 20% of facilities accounted for 80% of all admissions for Hispanics. Skilled nursing facilities with higher fractions of African-American patients had worse performance for three publicly-reported quality measures: rehospitalization, successful discharge to the community, and the star rating indicator. Conclusions:Efforts to address disparities should focus attention on institutions that disproportionately serve minority patients and monitor unintended consequences of value-based payments to skilled nursing facilities.
Project description:After home health care, the skilled nursing facility (SNF) is the most commonly used postacute care modality, among Medicare beneficiaries, after total joint arthroplasty. Prior studies demonstrated that a loss in postsurgical ambulatory gains is incurred in the interval between hospital discharge and arrival at the SNF. The aim of this present study is to determine the consequences of that loss in function, as well as compare SNF-related outcomes in patients with Medicare vs Managed Care (MC) insurance.We conducted a retrospective analysis of 80 patients (54 Medicare and 26 MC) who attended an SNF after hospitalization for total joint arthroplasty. Outcomes from physical therapy records were abstracted from each patient's SNF file.There was an approximately 40% drop-off in gait achievements between hospital discharge and SNF admission. This decline in ambulation was significantly greater in Medicare patients (Medicare: 94.6 ± 123.2 ft, MC: 40.0 ± 48.9 ft, P = .034). Larger reductions in gait achievements between hospital discharge and SNF admission were significantly correlated with longer SNF lengths of stay and poorer gait achievements by SNF discharge. Patients with MC insurance made significant improvements in gait training at the SNF beyond that which was acquired at the hospital, whereas Medicare patients did not (PMedicare = .28, PMC = .003).Large losses in motor function between hospital discharge and SNF admission were associated with poor functional outcomes and longer stays at the SNF. These effects were more pronounced in Medicare patients than those with MC insurance.
Project description:In the traditional Medicare program, the use of health care services-particularly postacute care-varies substantially across geographic regions. Less is known about such variations in Medicare Advantage (MA), which is growing rapidly. Insurers that are paid on a risk basis, as in MA, may have incentives and tools to restrain the use of services, which could attenuate geographic variations. In this study of fifty-four million Medicare beneficiaries in the period 2007-13, we found that geographic variations in the use of skilled nursing facility and hospital care in the MA population exceeded those in traditional Medicare, though variations in the use of home health care were greater in traditional Medicare. Within hospital referral regions, the correlations between the use of services in MA and traditional Medicare were moderate to strong. The findings suggest that regional variations in hospital and postacute care reflect local factors that influence beneficiaries' use of services irrespective of the way they obtain coverage.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Among patients in skilled nursing facilities for post-acute care, increased registered nurse, total licensed staff, and nurse assistant staffing is associated with a decreased rate of hospital transfer for selected diagnoses. However, the cost-effectiveness of increasing staffing to recommended levels is unknown.<h4>Methods</h4>Using a Markov cohort simulation, we estimated the incremental cost-effectiveness of recommended staffing versus median staffing in patients admitted to skilled nursing facilities for post-acute care. The outcomes of interest were life expectancy, quality-adjusted life expectancy, and incremental cost-effectiveness.<h4>Results</h4>The incremental cost-effectiveness of recommended staffing versus median staffing was $321,000 per discounted quality-adjusted life year gained. One-way sensitivity analyses demonstrated that the cost-effectiveness ratio was most sensitive to the likelihood of acute hospitalization from the nursing home. The cost-effectiveness ratio was also sensitive to the rapidity with which patients in the recommended staffing scenario recovered health-related quality of life as compared to the median staffing scenario. The cost-effectiveness ratio was not sensitive to other parameters.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Adopting recommended nurse staffing for short-stay nursing home patients cannot be justified on the basis of decreased hospital transfer rates alone, except in facilities with high baseline hospital transfer rates. Increasing nurse staffing would be justified if health-related quality of life of nursing home patients improved substantially from greater nurse and nurse assistant presence.
Project description:To determine whether a depression care management intervention in Medicare home health recipients decreases risk of hospitalization.Cluster-randomized trial. Nurse teams were randomized to intervention (12 teams) or enhanced usual care (EUC; 9 teams).Six home health agencies from distinct geographic regions. Home health recipients were interviewed at home and over the telephone.Individuals aged 65 and older who screened positive for depression on nurse assessments (N = 755) and a subset who consented to interviews (n = 306).The Depression CARE for PATients at Home (CAREPATH) guides nurses in managing depression during routine home visits. Clinical functions include weekly symptom assessment, medication management, care coordination, patient education, and goal setting. Researchers conducted telephone conferences with team supervisors every 2 weeks.Hospitalization while receiving home health services was assessed using data from the home health record. Hospitalization within 30 days of starting home health, regardless of how long recipients received home health services, was assessed using data from the home care record and research assessments.The relative hazard of being admitted to the hospital directly from home health was 35% lower within 30 days of starting home health care (hazard ratio (HR) = 0.65, P = .01) and 28% lower within 60 days (HR = 0.72, P = .03) for CAREPATH participants than for participants receiving EUC. In participants referred to home health directly from the hospital, the relative hazard of being rehospitalized was approximately 55% lower (HR = 0.45, P = .001) for CAREPATH participants.Integrating CAREPATH depression care management into routine nursing practice reduces hospitalization and rehospitalization risk in older adults receiving Medicare home health nursing services.