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Heterogeneity in Medicare Home Health Patients by Admission Source

Betty Fout, Mike Plotzke and Olivia Jung


October 3, 2018

Unlike other post-acute care settings, a large and growing share of Medicare Fee-For-Service patients are admitted to home health without a prior hospitalization or facility-based post-acute stay. Differences in home health patients by admission source have implications for standardizing measurement, and potentially payment, across post-acute care settings. We examined home health patients’ demographic, health, and utilization patterns when stratified by their admission source. We found that community-admitted patients were more likely to be dually eligible, have multiple home health episodes, have Alzheimer disease, and have suffered from depression. Noncommunity admission sources were associated with higher 30-day post home health admission hospitalization rates. These differences should be accounted for in properly incentivizing agencies to care for all types of patients appropriate for home health.

North America