Functional Status Across Post-Acute Settings Is Associated With 30-Day and 90-Day Hospital Readmissions

J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2021 Aug 30:S1525-8610(21)00687-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2021.07.039. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between cocalibrated functional scores across post-acute care settings and the subsequent risk of hospital readmission.

DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study.

SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: We analyzed 781,021 fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries discharged to either inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs), skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), or home health agencies (HHA) after an acute hospital stay for stroke (N = 143,277), lower extremity joint replacements (512,577), and hip/femur fracture (125,167) between January 1, 2013, and August 31, 2014.

MEASURES: Functional items from IRF-PAI, MDS, and OASIS were categorized into self-care and mobility domains. We cocalibrated admission functional scores across post-acute settings and divided scores into 4 functional levels using quartiles (Q1-Q4, with Q4 representing the most independent function). The primary outcomes were 30-day and 90-day hospital readmissions (yes/no) after an initial post-acute stay.

RESULTS: Patients who were more dependent in self-care and mobility at the initial post-acute setting were significantly more likely to experience hospital readmission [eg, hazard ratios of 30-day readmission in stroke: 1.54 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.47-1.61), 1.18 (95% CI 1.14-1.23), and 1.12 (95% CI 1.08-1.16) for Q1, Q2 and Q3, compared to Q4]. We found similar results for risk of 90-day hospital readmission across impairment conditions.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Patients who were more functionally dependent at the initial post-acute setting had a higher risk to readmit to the hospitals after discharging from the post-acute setting for 30 and 90 days, compared with patients who were more functionally independent. This finding is consistent across impairment conditions and post-acute settings. Future research should determine effective strategies of maintaining and facilitating functional performance across post-acute settings to optimize long-term patient outcomes.

PMID:34473961 | DOI:10.1016/j.jamda.2021.07.039

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