Objective: To examine associations between organizational characteristics of home health agencies (eg, profit status, rehabilitation therapy staffing model, size, and rurality) and quality outcomes in Medicare beneficiaries with rehabilitation-sensitive conditions, conditions for which occupational, physical, and/or speech therapy have the potential to improve functioning, prevent or slow substantial decline in functioning, or increase ability to remain at home safely. Design: Retrospective analysis. Setting: Home health agencies. Participants: Fee-for-service beneficiaries (N=1,006,562) admitted to 9250 Medicare-certified home health agencies in 2009. Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: Institutional admission during home health care, community discharge, and institutional admission within 30 days of discharge. Results: Nonprofit (vs for-profit) home health agencies were more likely to discharge beneficiaries to the community (odds ratio [OR], 1.23; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.13–1.33) and less likely to have beneficiaries incur institutional admissions within 30 days of discharge (OR,.93; 95% CI,.88–.97). Agencies in rural (vs urban) counties were less likely to discharge patients to the community (OR,.83; 95% CI,.77–.90) and more likely to have beneficiaries incur institutional admissions during home health (OR, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.18–1.30) and within 30 days of discharge (OR, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.10–1.22). Agencies with contract (vs in-house) therapy staff were less likely to discharge beneficiaries to the community (OR,.79, 95% CI,.70–.91) and more likely to have beneficiaries incur institutional admissions during home health (OR, 1.09; 95% CI, 1.03–1.15) and within 30 days of discharge (OR, 1.17; 95% CI, 1.07–1.28). Conclusions: As payers continue to test and implement reimbursement mechanisms that seek to reward value over volume of services, greater attention should be paid to organizational factors that facilitate better coordinated, higher quality home health care for beneficiaries who may benefit from rehabilitation.
- Health services research
- Home care services
- Quality of care
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation