Not All Skilled Nursing Patients Seen Promptly By Physicians After Transfer From Hospital

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Kira L. Ryskina  MD MSAssistant Professor Of MedicineDivision of General Internal MedicinePerelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Ryskina

Kira L. Ryskina  MD MS
Assistant Professor Of Medicine
Division of General Internal Medicine
Perelman School of Medicine,
University of Pennsylvania 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Post-acute care in skilled nursing facilities (SNF or sometimes called subacute rehab) is a very common discharge destination after a hospital stay. Patients discharged to these facilities represent more clinically complex and high-need patients than patients discharged home.

We wanted to understand how soon after discharge from the hospital to a skilled nursing facility are patients seen by a physician. We found that first visits by a physician or advanced practitioner (a nurse practitioner or physician assistant) for initial medical assessment occurred within four days of SNF admission in 71.5 percent of the stays. However, there was considerable variation in days to first visit at the regional, facility, and patient levels.

One in five initial physician visits occurred more than 4 days after admission to skilled nursing facilities.  In 10.4 percent of stays there was no physician or advanced practitioner visit. Much of the variability in visit timing had to do with SNF characteristics and geography compared to patient clinical or demographic characteristics. Patients who did not receive a physician visit had nearly double the rates of readmissions or deaths compared to patients who were seen.  Continue reading