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Change in inpatient rehabilitation admissions for individuals with traumatic brain injury after implementation of the Medicare inpatient rehabilitation facility prospective payment system


Hoffman JM, Donoso Brown E, Chan L, Dikmen S, Temkin N, Bell KR.



Publication Info:

Arch Phys Med Rehabil, 93(8):1305-1312


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact of Medicare's inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF) prospective payment system (PPS) on use of inpatient rehabilitation for individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI).
DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study of patients with TBI.
SETTING: One hundred twenty-three level I and II trauma centers across the U.S. who contributed data to the National Trauma Data Bank.
PARTICIPANTS: Patients (N=135,842) with TBI and an Abbreviated Injury Score of the head of 2 or greater admitted to trauma centers between 1995 and 2004.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Discharge location: IRF, skilled nursing facility, home, and other hospitals.
RESULTS: Compared with inpatient rehabilitation admissions before IRF PPS came into effect, demographic characteristics of admitted patients changed. Those admitted to acute care trauma centers after PPS was enacted (January 2002) were older and nonwhite. No differences were found in rates of injury between men and women. Over time, there was a significant drop in the percent of patients being discharged to inpatient rehabilitation, which varied by region, but was found across all insurance types. In a logistic regression, after controlling for patient characteristics (age, sex, race), injury characteristics (cause, severity), insurance type, and facility, the odds of being discharged to an IRF after a TBI decreased 16% after Medicare's IRF PPS system was enacted.
CONCLUSIONS: The enactment of the Medicare PPS appears to be associated with a reduction in the chance that patients receive inpatient rehabilitation treatment after a TBI. The impact of these changes on the cost, quality of care, and patient outcome is unknown and should be addressed in future studies.

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