A multidimensional approach to case mix for home health services.
Developing a case-mix methodology for home health services is more difficult than developing one for hospitalization and acute health services, because the determinants of need for home health care are more complex and because of the difficulty in defining episodes of care. To evaluate home health service case mix, a multivariate grouping methodology was applied to records from the 1982 National Long-Term Care Survey linked to Medicare records on home health reimbursements. Using this method, six distinct health and functional status dimensions were identified. These dimensions, combined with factors describing informal care resources and local market conditions, were used to explain significant proportions of the variance (r2 = .45) of individual differences in Medicare home health reimbursements and numbers of visits. Though the data were not collected for that purpose, the high level of prediction strongly suggests the feasibility of developing case-mix strategies for home health services.
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