Diverging Populations Served by the Medicare Home Health Benefit: Comparison of Post-acute vs. Community-entry Home Health in Rural Areas

Research center:
Lead researcher:
Tracy Mroz, PhD, 206.598.5396, tmroz@uw.edu
Project funded:
September 2015
Project completed:
April 2019

Medicare beneficiaries may be admitted to home health following an inpatient stay (post-acute) or directly from the community (community-entry). This study examined differences between post-acute and community-entry home health for rural, fee-for-services beneficiaries. The proportion of community-entry episodes were examined by type of rural geography and region. Predictors of community-entry, including clinical and non-clinical beneficiary characteristics, community health resources, and Medicaid programming were explored. Differences in service provision between community-entry and post-acute home health were also examined. Results provided critical information on how rural Medicare beneficiaries were utilizing the home health benefit, which helped inform continued efforts to revise the home health prospective payment system.