Differences Between Skilled Nursing Facilities in Risk of Subsequent Long-Term Care Placement

TitleDifferences Between Skilled Nursing Facilities in Risk of Subsequent Long-Term Care Placement
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsGoodwin JS, Li S, Middleton A, Ottenbacher K, Kuo Y-F
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
ISBN Number0002-8614

Objectives To determine how the risk of subsequent long-term care (LTC) placement varies between skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and the SNF characteristics associated with this risk. Design Population-based national cohort study with participants nested in SNFs and hospitals in a cross-classified multilevel model. Setting SNFs (N=6,680). Participants Fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries (N=552,414) discharged from a hospital to a SNF in 2013. Measurements Participant characteristics from Medicare data and the Minimum Data Set. SNF characteristics from Medicare and Nursing Home Compare. Outcome was a stay of 90 days or longer in a LTC nursing home within 6 months of SNF admission. Results Within 6 months of SNF admission, 10.4% of participants resided in LTC. After adjustments for participant characteristics, the SNF where a participant received care explained 7.9% of the variance in risk of LTC, whereas the prior hospital explained 1.0%. Individuals in SNFs with excellent quality ratings had 22% lower odds of transitioning to LTC than those in SNFs with poor ratings (odds ratio=0.78, 95% confidence interval=0.74–0.84). Variation between SNFs and associations with quality markers were greater in sensitivity analyses limited to individuals least likely to require LTC. Results were essentially the same in a number of other sensitivity analyses designed to reduce potential confounding. Conclusion Risk of subsequent LTC placement, an important and negatively viewed outcome for older adults, varies substantially between SNFs. Individuals in higher-quality SNFs are at lower risk.

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