Volume 51 | Number 6 | December 2016

Abstract List

Momotazur Rahman Ph.D., David C. Grabowski Ph.D., Vincent Mor Ph.D., Edward C. Norton Ph.D.


To determine whether the observed differences in the risk‐adjusted rehospitalization rates across skilled nursing facilities (s) reflect true differences or merely differences in patient severity.


Elderly Medicare beneficiaries newly admitted to an following hospitalization.

Study Design

We used 2009–2012 Medicare data to calculate s' risk‐adjusted rehospitalization rate. We then estimated the effect of these rehospitalization rates on the rehospitalization of incident patients in 2013, using an instrumental variable () method and controlling for patient's demographic and clinical characteristics and residential zip code fixed effects. We used the number of empty beds in a patient's proximate s during hospital discharge to create the .

Principal Findings

The risk‐adjusted rehospitalization rate varies widely; about one‐quarter of the s have a rehospitalization rate lower than 17 percent, and for one‐quarter, it is higher than 23 percent. All the models result in a robust finding that an increase in a 's rehospitalization rate of 1 percentage point over the period 2009–2012 leads to an increase in a patient's likelihood of rehospitalization by 0.8 percentage points in 2013.


Treatment in s with historically low rehospitalization causally reduces a patient's likelihood of rehospitalization. Observed differences in rehospitalization rates reflect true differences and are not an artifact of selection.