This study helped inform the expansion of Medicare’s post-acute care (PAC) transfer payment policy to additional DRG codes being considered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services by providing objective analyses that highlight the perspective of rural hospitals.
FY98-FY01 MedPAR hospital discharge data were used, providing one year of baseline data and a three-year post-implementation period. In addition, cost report data was used to construct financial vulnerability measures that consider each hospital's income, financial reserves, and liquidity. The study also examines four-year trends in inpatient length-of-stay and patterns of discharge to the various PAC settings for each of the 10 DRGs, for short- vs. long-stay transfers, and for various categories of hospitals. his project was conducted as part of the Rural Health Research and Policy Center.