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Predictors of Discharge to Acute Care after Inpatient Rehabilitation in Severely Affected Stroke Patients

Chung, Duc M. MD; Niewczyk, Paulette MPH, PhD; DiVita, Margaret MS; Markello, Sam PhD; Granger, Carl MD

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: May 2012 - Volume 91 - Issue 5 - p 387–392
doi: 10.1097/PHM.0b013e3182aac27
Original Research Articles
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Objective This study aimed to determine the predictors of discharge to acute care after inpatient rehabilitation in severely affected stroke patients.

Design This was a retrospective study using data from the Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation (UDSMR) between 2008 and 2009. The main outcome variable was discharge location, which included discharge to acute care or discharge to the community after inpatient rehabilitation. The study sample included 223 of the most severely affected stroke patients (Case-Mix Group 0110 of Medicare reimbursement classification), of whom 86 were discharged to acute care from after the inpatient medical rehabilitation setting; 137 similarly classified stroke patients were discharged to the community after inpatient medical rehabilitation. The variables examined were Functional Independence Measure ratings, co-morbid medical conditions, and four groups of stroke-related neurologic deficits (hemiparesis, dysphagia, language deficits, and other stroke-related neurologic deficits). The groups were devised based on International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision codes.

Results There were no significant demographic differences between the two groups—those discharged to the acute care hospital and those discharged to the community. There was a difference in admission Functional Independence Measure ratings, whereby patients discharged to acute care were significantly lower (P < 0.05) on admission motor and cognitive function than were patients discharged to the community. When controlling for 19 groups of co-morbid medical conditions and 4 groups of stroke-related neurologic deficits, there was no significant difference between patients being discharged to an acute care hospital and those discharged to the community.

Conclusions In the current study, controlling for impairment (stroke), severity of condition, demographic variables, inpatient rehabilitation admission day of the week and discharge day of the week, prehospitalization living setting, prehospitalization living with (alone, family, other), payer (secondary insurance coverage), onset days, co-morbid medical conditions, and classification of stroke-related neurologic deficits, the only variable predictive of discharge to the acute care hospital from an inpatient rehabilitation facility is function at admission, mainly the admission motor Functional Independence Measure rating. If clinicians routinely assess the functional status of patients during the preadmission screening process, it may aid in identifying whether the patient is at an increased risk of being readmitted to the acute care hospital.

From the Center for Functional Assessment Research, Jacobs Neurological Institute, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, State University of New York, Buffalo (DMC, PN, MD, SM, CG); Department of Health Care Studies, Daemon College, Amherst (PN, MD); and Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation, Amherst, New York (SM, CG).

All correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to: Duc M. Chung, MD, Center for Functional Assessment Research, Jacob Neurological Institute, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY; 270 Northpointe Parkway, Suite 300, Amherst, NY 14228.

Financial disclosure statements have been obtained, and no conflicts of interest have been reported by the authors or by any individuals in control of the content of this article.

Supported by Center for Functional Assessment Research, University at Buffalo School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Buffalo, NY.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.