• Article

Trends in postacute care and staffing in US nursing homes, 2001-2010

Objective: The objective of this study was to document the growth of postacute care and contemporaneous staffing trends in US nursing homes over the decade 2001 to 2010. Design: We integrated data from all US nursing homes longitudinally to track annual changes in the levels of postacute care intensity, therapy staffing and direct-care staffing separately for freestanding and hospital-based facilities. Setting: All Medicare/Medicaid-certified nursing homes from 2001 to 2010 based on the Online Survey Certification and Reporting System database merged with facility-level case mix measures aggregated from resident-level information from the Minimum Data Set and Medicare Part A claims. Measurements: We created a number of aggregate case mix measures to approximate the intensity of postacute care per facility per year, including the proportion of SNF-covered person days, number of admissions per bed, and average RUG-based case mix index. We also created measures of average hours per resident day for physical and occupational therapists, PT/OT assistants, PT/OT aides, and direct-care nursing staff. Results: In freestanding nursing homes, all postacute care intensity measures increased considerably each year throughout the study period. In contrast, in hospital-based facilities, all but one of these measures decreased. Similarly, therapy staffing has risen substantially in freestanding homes but declined in hospital-based facilities. Postacute care case mix acuity appeared to correlate reasonably well with therapy staffing levels in both types of facilities. Conclusion: There has been a marked and steady shift toward postacute care in the nursing home industry in the past decade, primarily in freestanding facilities, accompanied by increased therapy staffing. Copyright (C) 2013 - American Medical Directors Association, Inc


Tyler, D. A., Feng, Z., Leland, N. E., Gozalo, P., Intrator, O., & Mor, V. (2013). Trends in postacute care and staffing in US nursing homes, 2001-2010. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 14(11), 817-820. DOI: 10.1016/j.jamda.2013.05.013