aid helps man using a walker

(Credit: kali9)

Assisted living communities, retirement communities and homes remain the most frequent destinations for Medicare beneficiaries after inpatient hospital stays, according to the 2021 AHHQI Home Health Chartbook from the Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation and the National Association for Home Care & Hospice.

The chartbook covers the 2015 to 2020 time period and found that the percentage of discharges to the community without skilled home health care, including individuals living at home as well as in assisted living facilities and retirement communities, remained relatively consistent during that time. 

Discharges to assisted living communities, retirement communities and homes represented 57% of initial Medicare beneficiary destinations after hospital stays in 2015, 55% in 2016, 57% in 2018, 58% in 2019 and 57% in 2020, according to the chartbook, which used data from an Avalere Health analysis of Medicare standard analytic files.

The community (assisted living communities, retirement communities and homes) was the most frequent post-discharge destination in that time period across all regions of the country, higher than skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, long-term acute care hospitals, hospice programs and other inpatient hospitals.