OBJECTIVE: To examine and describe regional variation in outcomes for persons with stroke receiving inpatient medical rehabilitation.
DESIGN: Retrospective cohort design.
SETTING: Inpatient rehabilitation units and facilities contributing to the Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation from the United States.
PARTICIPANTS: Patients (N=143,036) with stroke discharged from inpatient rehabilitation during 2006 and 2007.
INTERVENTIONS: Not applicable.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Community discharge, length of stay (LOS), and discharge functional status ratings (motor, cognitive) across 10 geographic service regions defined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
RESULTS: Approximately 71% of the sample was discharged to the community. After adjusting for covariates, the percentage discharged to the community varied from 79.1% in the Southwest (CMS region 9) to 59.4% in the Northeast (CMS region 2). Adjusted LOS varied by 2.1 days, with CMS region 1 having the longest LOS at 18.3 days and CMS regions 5 and 9 having the shortest at 16.2 days.
CONCLUSIONS: Rehabilitation outcomes for persons with stroke varied across CMS regions. Substantial variation in discharge destination and LOS remained after adjusting for demographic and clinical characteristics.