OBJECTIVE: The literature suggests that Medicare health maintenance organization (HMO) patients may have poorer outcomes with formal home-health care than do fee-for-service (FFS) patients, but it is unclear whether this is related to case-mix or quality. Our objective was to compare the home- health care outcomes for HMO and FFS Medicare patients after hospitalization for stroke, COPD, CHF, hip replacement, or hip fracture with fixation or replacement while controlling for site of discharge and other patient characteristics. DESIGN: Patients were identified before hospital discharge with data collected at that time and then prospectively for 1 year. SETTING: Nineteen acute general hospitals in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota. PATIENTS: All Medicare patients in the above hospitals identified predischarge with stroke, COPD, CHF, hip replacement, or hip fracture with fixation or replacement. MEASURES: Outcome: weighted ADL scale and hospital readmission. Independent factors: site of discharge, HMO status, comorbidity, severity, and demographic factors. RESULTS: A total of 970 subjects were studied, 211 of whom were discharged to home-care. HMO patients were more likely to be discharged to a nursing home than to home-care after controlling for other factors (OR = 1.7; P = .015). After controlling for site of discharge and patient characteristics through either propensity scores or regression analysis, there was no statistically significant difference in ADL function at 6 weeks or at 6 months between HMO and FFS patients. Nor was there was a statistically significant difference in hospital readmission rates at 6 weeks and 6 months between HMO and FFS home-care patients. CONCLUSIONS: The outcomes of Medicare HMO patients discharged to home-care are not worse than those of FFS patients.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of the American Geriatrics Society|
|State||Published - May 1 1998|