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Transitions From Skilled Nursing Facility to Home: The Relationship of Early Outpatient Care to Hospital Readmission

  • Jennifer L. Carnahan
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to Jennifer L. Carnahan, MD, MPH, IU Center for Aging Research, Regenstrief Institute, Inc, 1101 West 10th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202-3012.
    Affiliations
    Indiana University Center for Aging Research, Regenstrief Institute, Inc, Indianapolis, IN

    Indiana University (IU) School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Indianapolis, IN

    Regenstrief Institute, Inc, Indianapolis, IN
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  • James E. Slaven
    Affiliations
    Indiana University School of Medicine, Department of Biostatistics, Indianapolis, IN
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  • Christopher M. Callahan
    Affiliations
    Indiana University Center for Aging Research, Regenstrief Institute, Inc, Indianapolis, IN

    Indiana University (IU) School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Indianapolis, IN

    Regenstrief Institute, Inc, Indianapolis, IN
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  • Wanzhu Tu
    Affiliations
    Indiana University School of Medicine, Department of Biostatistics, Indianapolis, IN
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  • Alexia M. Torke
    Affiliations
    Indiana University Center for Aging Research, Regenstrief Institute, Inc, Indianapolis, IN

    Indiana University (IU) School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Indianapolis, IN

    Regenstrief Institute, Inc, Indianapolis, IN

    Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis Research in Palliative and End of Life Communication and Training (RESPECT) Center, Indianapolis, IN

    Daniel F. Evans Center for Spiritual and Religious Values in Health Care, IU Health, Indianapolis, IN

    Fairbanks Center for Medical Ethics, IU Health, Indianapolis, IN
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      Abstract

      Background

      Many adults are discharged to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) prior to returning home from the hospital. Patient characteristics and factors that can help to prevent postdischarge adverse outcomes are poorly understood.

      Objective

      To identify whether early post–SNF discharge care reduces likelihood of 30-day hospital readmissions.

      Design

      Secondary data analysis using the Electronic Medical Record, Medicare, Medicaid and the Minimum Data Set.

      Participants/setting

      Older (age > 65 years), community-dwelling adults admitted to a safety net hospital in the Midwest for 3 or more nights and discharged home after an SNF stay (n = 1543).

      Measurements

      The primary outcome was hospital readmission within 30 days of SNF discharge. The primary independent variables were either a home health visit or an outpatient provider visit within a week of SNF discharge.

      Results

      Out of 8754 community-dwelling, hospitalized older adults, 3025 (34.6%) were discharged to an SNF, of whom 1543 (51.0%) returned home. Among the SNF to home group, a home health visit within a week of SNF discharge was associated with reduced hazard of 30-day hospital readmission [adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) 0.61, P < .001] but outpatient provider visits were not associated with reduced risk of hospital readmission (aHR = 0.67, P = .821).

      Conclusion

      For patients discharged from an SNF to home, the finding that a home health visit within a week of discharge is associated with reduced hazard of 30-day hospital readmissions suggests a potential avenue for intervention.

      Keywords

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