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Utilization of Physical Therapy in Home Health Care Under the Prospective Payment System

Kim, Tomoko Arakawa DScPT; Gordes, Karen Lynn PT, DScPT; Alon, Gad PhD, PT

Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy: January-March 2010 - Volume 33 - Issue 1 - p 2–9
doi: 10.1097/JPT.0b013e3181d06dc1
Research Reports

Purpose Aging adults who are homebound while recovering from illness or surgery are often referred to physical therapy for home-based rehabilitation care. The efficacy of such home-based interventions has not been thoroughly studied. The purpose of this study was to analyze the utilization of physical therapy services in one home health care agency under the prospective payment system. A review was conducted to determine the interaction between the number of physical therapy visits, duration of care, comorbidities, and the functional outcomes of toileting, transferring, and ambulation/ locomotion at discharge.

Methods The study design was a retrospective chart review of 99 patients with orthopedic diagnoses from one home health care agency in York, Pennsylvania who were admitted and discharged in the 2005 calendar year.

Results For all subjects (N = 99), the mean number of physical therapy visits was 5.7 (3.2), and the average duration of an episode of care was 20.5 (10.6) days. There was a significant improvement (P = .000) in all 3 functional activities, as scored by the Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS) functional scale following the episode of physical therapy intervention.

Conclusions Physical therapy may be beneficial to the study's homebound patients in improving their functional abilities.

Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland.

Address correspondence to: Tomoko Arakawa Kim, 3102 Bernard Dr, Edgewood, KY 41017 (simplicity7577@yahoo.com).

Copyright © 2010 the Section on Geriatrics of the American Physical Therapy Association
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