A Comparative Effectiveness Analysis of Care Received in a Long-Term Care Hospitals

In recent years, there has been increasing interest in assessing the value of long-term care hospitals (LTCHs) to Medicare beneficiaries as researchers have observed that the LTCH patient population overlaps both with patients treated in step-down units of acute care hospitals and other settings. KNG Health conducted a comparative-effectiveness study of LTCH care using a quasi-experimental study design and Medicare inpatient claims data.  Among patients with multiple organ failure, the study reported lower mortality at similar or lower Medicare payment or lower Medicare payment at similar mortality in 4 of the 5 condition categories studied for patients cared for in an LTCH as compared to patients cared for at other settings. For patients with 3 or more days in an intensive care unit, LTCH care was associated with better outcomes in 3 of the 5 condition categories and ambiguous results for the remaining 2 categories (LTCH care is associated with lower mortality at higher Medicare payment).  The study results were published in Medical Care.

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