OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between hospital-based rehabilitation service use and all-cause 30-day hospital readmission among patients with ischemic stroke.
DESIGN: Secondary analysis of inpatient Medicare claims data using Standard Analytical Files.
SETTING: Acute hospitals across the United States.
PARTICIPANTS: From nationwide data, Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries (N=88,826) aged 66 years or older hospitalized for ischemic stroke between January to November 2010.
INTERVENTIONS: Hospital-based rehabilitation services were quantified using Medicare inpatient claims revenue center codes for evaluation (occupational therapy [OT] and physical therapy [PT]), as well as the number of therapy units delivered. Therapy minutes for both OT and PT services were categorized into none, low, medium, and high.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: All-cause 30-day hospital readmission. A generalized linear mixed model was used to examine the effect of hospital-based rehabilitation services on 30-day hospital readmission, after adjusting for patient and hospital characteristics.
RESULTS: In fully adjusted models, compared to patients who received no PT, we observed a monotonic inverse relationship between the amount of PT and hospital readmission. For low PT (30 minutes), the odds ratio (OR) was 0.90 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.83-0.96). For medium PT (>30 to ≤75 minutes), the OR was 0.89 (95% CI, 0.82-0.95). For high PT (>75 minutes), the OR was 0.86 (95% CI, 0.80-0.93).
CONCLUSION: Hospital-based PT services were associated with lower risk of 30-day hospital readmission in patients with ischemic stroke.