Brief Report| Volume 22, ISSUE 3, P701-705.e1, March 2021

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Receipt of Timely Primary Care Services Following Post-Acute Skilled Nursing Facility Care

Published:October 26, 2020DOI:



      Our study examined the proportion of skilled nursing facility (SNF) post-acute care residents who did not receive timely primary care provider (PCP) services following discharge, factors associated with lack of timely PCP services, and factors associated with perfect 30-day home time among those who did not receive timely PCP services.


      Longitudinal cohort study; data sources included Medicare claims and other administrative databases.

      Setting and Participants

      25,357 fee-for-service New York State Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 years and older admitted to SNFs for post-acute care in 2014 and then discharged to the community.


      Our outcomes were a timely PCP visit (within 7 days of SNF discharge) and perfect 30-day home time, and we examined their association with patient, SNF, and county factors.


      Among SNF discharges, 60.6% had a timely PCP visit. In multivariate regression analyses, female sex, nonwhite race, Medicare only status, less functional impairment and medical comorbidity, a surgical hospitalization, fewer hospital days, more SNF days, absence of home health services, for-profit SNF status, higher SNF star rating, lower ratio of registered nurse/total nursing hours, and rural counties were associated with lower odds of a timely PCP visit following SNF discharge. Among those without a timely PCP visit, female sex, less cognitive and functional impairment, less medical comorbidity, a surgical hospitalization, fewer hospital days, receipt of home health services, and higher SNF star rating were associated with increased odds of perfect 30-day home time following SNF discharge.

      Conclusions and Implications

      That 4 in 10 post-acute care SNF patients did not have a timely PCP visit post-SNF discharge, with racial minority and rural county status associated with decreased odds of a timely PCP visit, is concerning. Examination of whether the timing and type of outpatient visit may have varying effects on different post-acute care subpopulations would build on this work.


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