Many Stroke Patients Not Receiving Timely Rehabilitation

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The study authors believe that insurance copayments may be a large part of why many patients do not receive rehabilitation services after stroke.
The study authors believe that insurance copayments may be a large part of why many patients do not receive rehabilitation services after stroke.

HealthDay News — Many stroke patients referred to rehabilitation services do not receive these services, according to a study presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference, held from January 24 to 26 in Los Angeles.

Kristen N. Penland, from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC, and examined sociodemographic characteristics associated with receipt of rehabilitation services within 30 days after discharge home in stroke or transient ischemic attack patients. Data were analyzed for 369 participants enrolled in the intervention arm of the COMPASS trial, which assessed the effectiveness of COMPASS model of care versus usual care.

Overall, 47.7% of patients had ascertainment of receipt of rehabilitation services; 43.5% of 115 patients referred to home health (HH) and 34.1% of 85 patients referred to outpatient rehabilitation therapy received it. The researchers observed no significant sociodemographic differences related to receipt of HH, but non-whites were less likely than whites to receive outpatient rehabilitation (15% vs 34.9%). Non-white participants had significantly reduced odds of receiving outpatient therapy after adjustment for confounding variables (odds ratio, 0.22).

"We don't know the exact reasons why these patients did not receive rehabilitation, but we assume it has to do with the co-pay that is associated with outpatient therapy services, even for those who have insurance," a co-author said in a statement. "Clearly we need more research to understand these factors."

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry; several authors disclosed ties to the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, which funded the study.

Reference

Many stroke survivors don't receive timely rehab [press release]. Los Angeles, CA: AHA. Published January 24, 2018. Accessed January 30, 2018.

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