Assessment of Quality of Care Under PPS By Examining Patient Functional Status Through Post-Hospital Period -- A Feasibility Study

Do PPS incentives to discharge patients from hospitals "quicker and sicker" have an adverse impact on how patients are able to function once they leave the hospital? This pilot study was intended to test the feasibility of assessing the longer-term care impact of Medicare's Prospective Payment System (PPS) on the quality and outcomes of hospital care by examining the patient functional status through the post-hospital period. The pilot study planned to explore various methods of tracking post-hospital care to determine if the necessary data could be obtained for a full study. The researchers learned early in the process that the time required to develop and complete the medical record abstracting instrument was much greater than anticipated. As a result, the team decided that a full study using this data collection approach would not be feasible without an enormous cost and thus requested that the feasibility grant be closed.