For people who received post-acute care instructions upon hospital discharge in the first quarter, skilled nursing facilities were the most likely referral destination, at 21.3%, followed very closely by home health, at 21.1%, according to Trella Health.

This marks a slight change from the findings in Trella’s first-quarter 2019 Industry Trend Report, which showed home health as a destination 23.3% compared with SNFs, at 21.1%

The reversal back to SNFs as a more common post-acute care referral destination compared with home health is not something Trella expects to continue in future quarters, especially considering the effect that COVID-19 has had on SNF census, according to Kirsten Reed, director of product marketing at Trella Health.

 “As a result of the pandemic, we anticipate a sharp drop off in the percentage of SNF referrals for Q2 2020,” Reed noted. “While there is a potential for the share of home health referrals to increase due to SNF diversion, another possibility is a decrease in overall [post-acute care] discharge instructions because of concerns around care providers entering patients’ homes.”