BACKGROUND: Little is known about regional variation in the use of postacute care services after elective procedures, such as total hip or knee arthroplasty (THA/TKA), and how insurance type may influence it. The goal of this study is to assess the influence of region and insurance arrangements on discharge disposition.
METHODS: A representative sample of the privately insured US population with THA or TKA in 2009 or 2010 was obtained from the MarketScan database applying individual-level weights from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Multivariate logistic regression was used to predict the odds of being discharged to an extended care facility (ECF) compared with being discharged home. The model adjusted for region, insurance plan type, sociodemographic characteristics, comorbidities, and length of stay.
RESULTS: Large variability was observed in ECF use across the US. Patients in the Northeast were 2.5 times more likely to receive care at an ECF compared with patients in the South (odds ratio [OR] = 2.51, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.97-3.19). Enrollees in noncapitated plans such as fee-for-service plans or exclusive provider organizations were less likely to be discharged to an ECF compared with health maintenance organizations/preferred provider organizations with capitation enrollees (OR = 0.74, 95% CI: 0.57-0.94; OR = 0.49, 95% CI: 0.34-0.74, respectively).
CONCLUSION: Region and private insurance plan arrangements are related to extended care use among THA and TKA patients. Understanding regional variation in discharge disposition provides policy makers with important information as to where to focus new tests of hip and knee procedures such as same day arthroplasty.