Investing in Post-Acute Care Transitions: Electronic Information Exchange Between Hospitals and Long-Term Care Facilities

Dori A. Cross, Julia Adler-Milstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background Electronic health information exchange (HIE) is expected to help improve care transitions from hospitals to long-term care (LTC) facilities. We know little about the prevalence of hospital LTC HIE in the United States and what contextual factors may motivate or constrain this activity. Research design Cross-sectional analysis of U.S. acute-care hospitals responding to the 2014 AHA IT Supplement survey and with available readmissions data (n = 1,991). We conducted multivariate logistic regression to explore the relationship between hospital LTC HIE and selected IT and policy characteristics. Results Over half of the hospitals in our study (57.2%) reported engaging in some form of HIE with LTC providers: 33.9% send-only, 0.5% receive-only, and 22.8% send and receive. Hospitals that engaged in some form of LTC HIE were more likely than those that did not engage to have attested to meaningful use (odds ratio [OR], 1.87; P = .01 for stage 1 and OR, 2.05; P < .01 for stage 2), participate in a regional HIE effort (OR, 1.34; P = .021), and exchange information electronically with other hospitals or ambulatory providers (OR, 4.54; P < .01). Organizational affiliation with a skilled nursing facility (OR, 1.29; P = .041) and higher 30-day readmission rates (OR, 1.19; P = .016) were also associated with LTC HIE, but not accountable care organization nor bundled payment participation. Conclusions As payment to LTC providers and hospitals increasingly emphasizes total patient care and paying for value, those leading these organizations have new incentives to pursue collaborative relationships. Hospitals appear to be investing in electronic information exchange with LTCs as part of a general strategy to adopt EHRs and engage in HIE, but also potentially to strengthen ties to LTC providers and to reduce readmissions. To achieve widespread connectivity, continued focus on adoption of related health IT infrastructure and greater emphasis on aligning incentives for hospital-LTC care transitions would be valuable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-34
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Post-acute care
  • care transitions
  • continuity of care
  • health information exchange
  • readmissions


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