Characterizing Standardized Functional Data at Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities



      The Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 mandates using standardized patient functional data across post-acute settings. This study characterized similarities and differences in clinician-observed scores of self-care and transfer items for the standardized section GG functional domain and the functional independent measure (FIM) at inpatient rehabilitation facilities.


      We conducted secondary analyses of 2017 Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation national data. Patients were assessed by clinicians on both section GG and FIM at admission and discharge. We identified 7 self-care items and 6 transfer items in section GG conceptually equivalent with FIM. Clinician-assessed scores for each pair of items were examined using score distributions, Bland-Altman plot, correlation (Pearson coefficients), and agreement (kappa and weighted kappa) analyses.

      Setting and Participants

      In all, 408,491 patients were admitted to Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation-affiliated inpatient rehabilitation facilities with one of the following impairments: stroke, brain dysfunction, neurologic condition, orthopedic disorders, and debility.


      Section GG and FIM.


      Patients were scored as more functionally independent in section GG compared with FIM, but change score distributions and score orders within impairment groups were similar. Total scores in section GG had strong positive correlations (self-care: r = 0.87 and 0.95; transfer: r = 0.82 and 0.90 at admission and discharge, respectively) with total FIM scores. Weak to moderate ranking agreements with total FIM scores were observed (self-care: kappa = 0.49 and 0.60; transfers: kappa = 0.43 and 0.52 at admission and discharge, respectively). Lower agreements were observed for less able patients at admission and for higher ability patients of their change scores.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Overall, response patterns were similar in section GG and FIM across impairments. However, variations exist in score distributions and ranking agreement. Future research should examine the use of GG codes to maintain effective care, outcomes, and unbiased reimbursement across post-acute settings.


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