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Poststroke Rehabilitation and Restorative Care Utilization: A Comparison Between VA Community Living Centers and VA-contracted Community Nursing Homes.

Jia H, Pei Q, Sullivan CT, Cowper Ripley DC, Wu SS, Bates BE, Vogel WB, Bidelspach DE, Wang X, Hoffman N. Poststroke Rehabilitation and Restorative Care Utilization: A Comparison Between VA Community Living Centers and VA-contracted Community Nursing Homes. Medical care. 2016 Mar 1; 54(3):235-42.

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BACKGROUND: Effective poststroke rehabilitation care can speed patient recovery and minimize patient functional disabilities. Veterans affairs (VA) community living centers (CLCs) and VA-contracted community nursing homes (CNHs) are the 2 major sources of institutional long-term care for Veterans with stroke receiving care under VA auspices. OBJECTIVES: This study compares rehabilitation therapy and restorative nursing care among Veterans residing in VA CLCs versus those Veterans in VA-contracted CNHs. RESEARCH DESIGN: Retrospective observational. SUBJECTS: All Veterans diagnosed with stroke, newly admitted to the CLCs or CNHs during the study period who completed at least 2 Minimum Data Set assessments postadmission. MEASURES: The outcomes were numbers of days for rehabilitation therapy and restorative nursing care received by the Veterans during their stays in CLCs or CNHs as documented in the Minimum Data Set databases. RESULTS: For rehabilitation therapy, the CLC Veterans had lower user rates (75.2% vs. 76.4%, P = 0.078) and fewer observed therapy days (4.9 vs. 6.4, P < 0.001) than CNH Veterans. However, the CLC Veterans had higher adjusted odds for therapy (odds ratio = 1.16, P = 0.033), although they had fewer average therapy days (coefficient = -1.53±0.11, P < 0.001). For restorative nursing care, CLC Veterans had higher user rates (33.5% vs. 30.6%, P < 0.001), more observed average care days (9.4 vs. 5.9, P < 0.001), higher adjusted odds (odds ratio = 2.28, P < 0.001), and more adjusted days for restorative nursing care (coefficient = 5.48±0.37, P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: Compared with their counterparts at VA-contracted CNHs, Veterans at VA CLCs had fewer average rehabilitation therapy days (both unadjusted and adjusted), but they were significantly more likely to receive restorative nursing care both before and after risk adjustment.

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