Post-Discharge Rehabilitation Care Delivery for Rural Medicare Beneficiaries With Stroke


Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death and the leading cause of long-term disability in the United States (U.S.). Post-discharge care has been shown to be vital in preventing long-term morbidity and improving functionality and quality of life for stroke patients. The most appropriate post-discharge rehabilitation care (PDRC) setting for stroke patients depends on several factors including the patient's clinical profile, patient preferences, provider recommendations, and proximity to available resources. Limited evidence suggests geographic as well as racial and ethnic disparities in receipt of PDRC. We sought to examine the following research questions:

  1. Are there differences in the provision and type of PDRC received post-discharge by rurality and race/ethnicity among stroke survivors?
  2. Is distance between the patient's home and the discharge hospital related to the type of PDRC recommended?
  3. Are factors such as initial hospital admission (transfer from other hospital vs. referral from primary care vs. direct admission from emergency departments) related to PDRC provision and type?
Rural and Minority Health Research Center
Jessica Bellinger, Zhimin Chen, Saundra Glover, Karen Jones, Kevin Bennett, Janice Probst