Validation of the Standardized Function Data Elements among Medicare Skilled Nursing Facility Residents

Published:January 09, 2023DOI:



      To examine the distribution of admission and discharge functional abilities among Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries with a skilled nursing facility (SNF) stay. Further, to assess the validity of the standardized discharge self-care and mobility data by examining their association to community discharge.


      Observational study of SNF Medicare fee-for-service residents’ self-care and mobility scores at admission and discharge.

      Setting and Participants

      Medicare beneficiaries with Medicare Part A SNF stays in 2017 from 15,127 Medicare-certified SNFs.


      We calculated self-care and mobility score frequencies and percentages at admission and discharge to describe the functional abilities of SNF residents; we examined discharge scores by percentage discharge to the community to evaluate item construct validity.


      Between admission and discharge, SNF resident scores showed overall improvements in function for all self-care and most mobility activities. For example, between admission and discharge the percentage of residents independent with toileting hygiene and sit to lying increased from 3.7% and 8.2%, to 25.3% and 32.7%, respectively. For all but 2 data elements, residents with lower functional abilities had a lower percentage of being discharged into the community, and the percentage of residents discharged into the community increased as residents performed functional activities of self-care and mobility at higher score ratings. There was a consistent monotonic relationship between residents’ discharge self-care and mobility scores and community discharge rates for all but 2 data elements.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Our study found measurable improvements for each self-care and mobility function item for SNF Medicare Part A resident stays in 2017. The results also demonstrated a positive association between higher discharge self-care and mobility scores and higher discharge to community rates. These findings support the validity of the data elements in measuring functional abilities among SNF Medicare Part A residents.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Journal of the American Medical Directors Association
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect