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Discharge destination following hip fracture: comparative effectiveness and cost analyses

Pitzul KB, Wodchis WP, Kreder HJ, Carter MW, Jaglal SB. Arch Osteoporos. 2017; 12(1):87. Epub 2017 Sep 30.


Summary — This study determines outcomes and costs of similar hip fracture patients that were discharged from hospital to a rehabilitation facility or to the community within 1 year. Community patients had worse outcomes and lower costs compared to rehabilitation facility patients. This study contributes to understanding hip fracture quality of care.

Purpose — The purpose of this study is to determine the impact on mortality and rehospitalization, as well as health system cost, of similar hip fracture patients being discharged to an inpatient rehabilitation facility or directly to the community within 1 year in Ontario, Canada.

Methods — This was a retrospective study of a propensity-matched cohort completed from the health system perspective. Administrative databases were used to identify and match two groups of older adults (total n = 18,773) discharged alive from acute care for hip fracture repair: patients discharged to inpatient rehabilitation were matched to patients discharged to the community.

Results — A higher proportion of patients discharged to the community (27–42%) died or were rehospitalized (SDhighipr = 0.21, SDlowipr = 0.33) and had substantially lower health system costs (SDhighipr = 0.65, SDlowipr = 0.42) up to 1 year post-acute discharge compared to similar patients discharged to inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IPR) (10–11%).

Conclusions — This study demonstrates that similar hip fracture patients are discharged to different post-acute settings (i.e., home-based rehabilitation and inpatient rehabilitation) and have different outcomes, thereby calling into question the appropriateness of post-acute rehabilitation delivery in Ontario, Canada. Future research should focus on determining how trade-offs in resource allocation between settings would impact patient outcomes.

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