Importance: Hospital readmissions are associated with poor patient outcomes, including higher risk for mortality, nutritional concerns, deconditioning, and higher costs.
Objective: To evaluate how acute occupational therapy service delivery factors affect readmission risk.
Design: Cross-sectional, retrospective study.
Setting: Single academic medical center.
Participants: Medicare inpatients with a diagnosis included in the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP; N = 17,618). Data were collected from medical records at a large urban hospital in southeastern Wisconsin.
Outcomes and Measures: Logistic regression models were estimated to examine the association between acute occupational therapy service delivery factors and odds of readmission. In addition, the types of acute occupational therapy services for readmitted versus not-readmitted patients were compared.
Results: Patients had significantly higher odds of readmission if they received occupational therapy services while hospitalized (odds ratio [OR] = 1.18, 95% confidence interval [CI] [1.07, 1.31]). However, patients who received acute occupational therapy services had significantly lower odds of readmission if they received a higher frequency (OR = 0.99, 95% CI [0.99,1.00]) of acute occupational therapy services. A significantly higher proportion of patients who were not readmitted, compared with patients who were readmitted, received activities of daily living (ADL) or self-care training (p < .01).
Conclusions and Relevance: For patients with HRRP-qualifying diagnoses who received acute occupational therapy services, higher frequency of acute occupational therapy services was linked with lower odds of readmission. Readmitted patients were less likely to have received ADL or self-care training while hospitalized.
What This Article Adds: Identifying factors of acute occupational therapy services that reduce the odds of readmission for Medicare patients may help to improve patient outcomes and further define occupational therapy’s role in the U.S. quality-focused health care system.