Motor and Cognitive Functional Status Are Associated with 30-day Unplanned Rehospitalization Following Post-Acute Care in Medicare Fee-for-Service Beneficiaries

Addie Middleton, James E. Graham, Yu Li Lin, James S. Goodwin, Janet Prvu Bettger, Anne Deutsch, Kenneth J. Ottenbacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act of 2014 stipulates that standardized functional status (self-care and mobility) and cognitive function data will be used for quality reporting in post-acute care settings. Thirty-day post-discharge unplanned rehospitalization is an established quality metric that has recently been extended to post-acute settings. The relationships between the functional domains in the IMPACT Act and 30-day unplanned rehospitalization are poorly understood. OBJECTIVE: To determine the degree to which discharge mobility, self-care, and cognitive function are associated with 30-day unplanned rehospitalization following discharge from post-acute care. DESIGN: This was a retrospective cohort study. SETTING: Inpatient rehabilitation facilities submitting claims and assessment data to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in 2012–2013. PARTICIPANTS: Medicare fee-for-service enrollees discharged from post-acute rehabilitation in 2012–2013. The sample included community-dwelling adults admitted for rehabilitation following an acute care stay who survived for 32 days following discharge (N = 252,406). INTERVENTIONS: Not applicable. MAIN MEASURES: Thirty-day unplanned rehospitalization following post-acute rehabilitation. KEY RESULTS: The unadjusted 30-day unplanned rehospitalization rate was 12.0 % (n = 30,179). Overall, patients dependent at discharge for mobility had a 50 % increased odds of rehospitalization (OR = 1.50, 95 % CI: 1.42–1.59), patients dependent for self-care a 36 % increased odds (OR = 1.36, 95 % CI: 1.27–1.47), and patients dependent for cognition a 19 % increased odds (OR = 1.19, 95 % CI: 1.09–1.29). Patients dependent for both self-care and mobility at discharge (n = 8312, 3.3 %) had a 16.1 % (95 % CI: 15.3–17.0 %) adjusted rehospitalization rate versus 8.5 % (95 % CI: 8.3–8.8 %) for those independent for both (n = 74,641; 29.6 %). CONCLUSIONS: The functional domains identified in the IMPACT Act were associated with 30-day unplanned rehospitalization following post-acute care in this large national sample. Further research is needed to better understand and improve the functional measures, and to determine if their association with rehospitalizations varies across post-acute settings, patient populations, or episodes of care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1427-1434
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of general internal medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • functional status
  • health care reform
  • health services research
  • medicare
  • rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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