Facility and market factors affecting transitions from nursing home to community

Greg Arling, Kathleen A. Abrahamson, Valerie Cooke, Robert L. Kane, Teresa Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background Research into nursing home transitions has given limited attention to the facility or community contexts. Objective: To identify facility and market factors affecting transitions of nursing home residents back to the community. Research Design: Multilevel models were used to estimate effects of facility and market factors on facility-level community discharge rates after controlling for resident demographic, health, and functional conditions. Facility discharge rates were adjusted using Empirical Bayes estimation. Subjects: Annual cohort of first-time admissions (N=24,648) to 378 Minnesota nursing facilities in 75 nursing home markets from July 2005 to June 2006. Measures: Community discharge within 90 days of admission; facility occupancy, payer mix, ownership, case-mix acuity, size, admissions from hospitals, nurse staffing level, and proportion of admissions preferring or having support to return to the community; and nursing market population size, average occupancy, market concentration, and availability of home and community-based services. Results: Rates of community discharge (Empirical Bayes residual) were highest in facilities with more residents preferring community discharge, more Medicare days, higher nurse staffing levels, and higher occupancy. In addition, facilities had higher community discharge rates if they were located in markets with a greater ratio of home and community-based services recipients to nursing home residents and with larger populations. Conclusions: State Medicaid programs should undertake system-level interventions that encourage nursing facilities to reduce unused bed capacity, balance the mix of payers, invest in nurse staffing, and take other steps to promote community discharges. In addition, states should increase home and community-based services, particularly in markets with low community discharge rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)790-796
Number of pages7
JournalMedical care
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011


  • community discharge
  • long-term care
  • market characteristics
  • nursing home
  • transition


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