News: SDOH barrier to rehab services for hospital patients, study suggests

CDI Strategies - Volume 18, Issue 24

Social determinants of health (SDOH) make patients less likely to receive skilled rehabilitation services during a critical care hospital stay, according to a study published in JAMA Open Network.  

The study examined 1,618 ICU hospitalizations across 569 United States hospitals between 2011-2018. All participants were 65 years of age or older with a median age of 81, Revenue Cycle Advisor reported.

After adjusting for condition severity and pre-hospitalization disabilities, researchers analyzed care differences between patients who had certain social factors known to lead to worse health outcomes and those who did not.

“Older adults with socioeconomic disadvantage develop a greater burden of disability after critical illness than those without socioeconomic disadvantage,” the authors of the study wrote. “The delivery of in-hospital rehabilitation that can mitigate functional decline may be influenced by [SDOH].”

For example, approximately 68.5% of all sampled patients received physical therapy (PT) or occupational therapy (OT) services during their hospital stay. But patients with negative social factors were less likely to receive those services, according to the following study findings:

  • 62.7% of patients with dual Medicare/Medicaid eligibility received PT or OT, compared to 69.9% of those without dual eligibility
  • 60.1% of rural patients received PT or OT, compared to 70.3% of those from urban areas
  • 65.5% of people with below-median income received services, versus 70.8% of those above the median income

The researchers concluded that their findings “highlight the need to consider these SDOH in efforts to enhance equitable delivery of skilled rehabilitation services during hospitalization.”

Editor’s note: To read the Revenue Cycle Advisor summary, click here. To read the JAMA study, click here.

Found in Categories: 
News, Quality & Regulatory