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

Published:January 09, 2023DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jamda.2022.12.014

      Abstract

      Objective

      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.

      Design

      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.

      Methods

      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.

      Results

      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.

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