Post-Acute Care Episodes Expanded Analytic File. 4.4 Conclusion

04/01/2011

The community entrant episode analyses presented here provide an important complement to the work looking at acute hospital-initiated episodes. As policy makers consider different ways to define a PAC episode, it is necessary to understand beneficiaries who enter PAC service use without an acute event. Although the number of IRF and LTCH community entrants is relatively small, a significant number of beneficiaries enter HHA from the community. These analyses reveal that the types of cases and the trajectories of PAC use differ for community entrants compared with acute hospital-initiated episodes and that the community entrant episodes appear to involve patients with less severe conditions and lower service utilization in an episode; however, the cohort analyses (Section 7) looking at 2 years of claims utilization for beneficiaries with different types of initiating events provide additional context to understanding the longer term utilization and characteristics of these beneficiaries.

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