Access to preferred skilled nursing facilities: Transitional care pathways for patients with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias

Dori A. Cross, Taylor I. Bucy, Momotazur Rahman, John P. McHugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: The study aimed to assess whether individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD) experience restricted access to hospitals' high-volume preferred skilled nursing facility (SNF) partners. Data Sources: The data source includes acute care hospital to SNF transitions identified using 100% Medicare Provider Analysis and Review files, 2017–2019. Study Design: We model and compare the estimated effect of facility “preferredness” on SNF choice for patients with and without ADRD. We use conditional logistic regression with a 1:1 patient sample otherwise matched on demographic and encounter characteristics. Data Collection: Our matched sample included 58,190 patients, selected from a total observed population of 3,019,260 Medicare hospitalizations that resulted in an SNF transfer between 2017 and 2019. Principal Findings: Overall, patients with ADRD have a lower probability of being discharged to a preferred SNF (52.0% vs. 54.4%, p < 0.001). Choice model estimation using our matched sample suggests similarly that the marginal effect of preferredness on a patient choosing a proximate SNF is 2.4 percentage points lower for patients with ADRD compared with those without (p < 0.001). The differential effect of preferredness based on ADRD status increases when considering (a) the cumulative effect of multiple SNFs in close geographic proximity, (b) the magnitude of the strength of hospital-SNF relationship, and (c) comparing patients with more versus less advanced ADRD. Conclusions: Preferred relationships are significantly predictive of where a patient receives SNF care, but this effect is weaker for patients with ADRD. To the extent that these high-volume relationships are indicative of more targeted transitional care improvements from hospitals, ADRD patients may not be fully benefiting from these investments. Hospital leaders can leverage integrated care relationships to reduce SNFs' perceived need to engage in selection behavior (i.e., enhanced resource sharing and transparency in placement practices). Policy intervention may be needed to address selection behavior and to support hospitals in making systemic improvements that can better benefit all SNF partners (i.e., more robust information sharing systems).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere14263
JournalHealth services research
Volume59
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Health Services Research published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Health Research and Educational Trust.

Keywords

  • Medicare
  • care transitions
  • dementia
  • postacute care

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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