Original Study| Volume 11, ISSUE 5, P333-337, June 2010

Conversion Diversion: Participation in a Social HMO Reduces the Likelihood of Converting From Short-Stay to Long-Stay Nursing Facility Placement


      To determine the effect of a Social Health Maintenance Organization (S/HMO) on diverting older adults admitted into a nursing facility from converting to long-stay placement.


      Members of the SCAN S/HMO and those in Medicare Fee-For-Service were compared on successful discharge to the community after being admitted to nursing facilities between January 1, 2001, and December 31, 2003.


      Skilled nursing facilities in 4 counties in Southern California (Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside).


      Data (N = 4635) were extracted from Minimum Data Set (MDS) 2.0 records for nursing facility residents in the S/HMO or the Medicare Fee-for-Service 5% sample who were aged 65 and older with an episode of care greater than 14 days.


      Predisposing, enabling, and need measures were used to predict successful discharge to the community within 90 days.


      After controlling for selected sociodemographics, comorbidities, behavioral issues, mental health conditions, and other risk factors, being enrolled in the S/HMO increased the likelihood of successful discharge by 26%.


      With systemic increases in short-stay patients, research on diversion must look past the avoidance of unnecessary entry to nursing facilities, to the successful transition of short-stay residents to the community. As described in this study, the S/HMO model is an important but largely unaddressed method of avoiding the conversion to long-stay.


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