Postacute Discharge to Home Health versus Skilled Nursing Facilities: What Are the Differences in Health Outcomes?

March 22, 2019 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​For Medicare beneficiaries, discharge from the hospital to home for home health services rather than to a skilled nursing facility is associated with lower Medicare payments but higher rates of readmission, according to a study published on March 11, 2019, in JAMA Internal Medicine. The study analyzed Medicare claims data and skilled nursing facility and home health assessment data between January 2010 and December 2016 for differences in outcomes related to 30-day readmission and mortality rates, functional status changes, and Medicare costs. Out of 17,235,854 hospitalizations, 39% were discharged to home healthcare and 61% to a skilled nursing facility.

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