Home Health Rehabilitation Utilization Among Medicare Beneficiaries Following Critical Illness

Jason R. Falvey, Terrence E. Murphy, Thomas M. Gill, Jennifer E. Stevens-Lapsley, Lauren E. Ferrante

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: Medicare beneficiaries recovering from a critical illness are increasingly being discharged home instead of to post-acute care facilities. Rehabilitation services are commonly recommended for intensive care unit (ICU) survivors; however, little is known about the frequency and dose of home-based rehabilitation in this population. DESIGN: Retrospective analysis of 2012 Medicare hospital and home health (HH) claims data, linked with assessment data from the Medicare Outcomes and Assessment Information Set. SETTING: Participant homes. PARTICIPANTS: Medicare beneficiaries recovering from an ICU stay longer than 24 hours, who were discharged directly home with HH services within 7 days of discharge and survived without readmission or hospice transfer for at least 30 days (n = 3,176). MEASUREMENTS: Count of rehabilitation visits received during HH care episode. RESULTS: A total of 19,564 rehabilitation visits were delivered to ICU survivors over 118,145 person-days in HH settings, a rate of 1.16 visits per week. One-third of ICU survivors received no rehabilitation visits during HH care. In adjusted models, those with the highest baseline disability received 30% more visits (rate ratio [RR] = 1.30; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.17-1.45) than those with the least disability. Conversely, an inverse relationship was found between multimorbidity (Elixhauser scores) and count of rehabilitation visits received; those with the highest tertile of Elixhauser scores received 11% fewer visits (RR =.89; 95% CI =.81-.99) than those in the lowest tertile. Participants living in a rural setting (vs urban) received 6% fewer visits (RR =.94; 95% CI =.91-.98); those who lived alone received 11% fewer visits (RR =.89; 95% CI =.82-.96) than those who lived with others. CONCLUSION: On average, Medicare beneficiaries discharged home after a critical illness receive few rehabilitation visits in the early post-hospitalization period. Those who had more comorbidities, who lived alone, or who lived in rural settings received even fewer visits, suggesting a need for their consideration during discharge planning. J Am Geriatr Soc 68:1512-1519, 2020.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1512-1519
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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