Trajectories Over the First Year of Long-Term Care Nursing Home Residence

Shuang Li, Addie Middleton, Kenneth J. Ottenbacher, James S. Goodwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objectives: To describe the trajectories in the first year after individuals are admitted to long-term care nursing homes. Design: Retrospective cohort study. Setting: US long-term care facilities. Participants: Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries newly admitted to long-term care nursing homes from July 1, 2012, to December 31, 2013 (N=535,202). Measurements: Demographic characteristics were from Medicare data. Individual trajectories were conducted using the Minimum Data Set for determining long-term care stays and community discharge, and Medicare Provider and Analysis Reviews claims data for determining hospitalizations, skilled nursing facility stays, inpatient rehabilitation, long-term acute hospital and psychiatric hospital stays. Results: The median length of stay in a long-term care nursing home over the 1 year following admission was 127 [interquartile range (IQR): 24, 356] days. The median length of stay in any institution was 158 (IQR: 38, 365). Residents experienced a mean of 2.1 ± 2.8 (standard deviation) transitions over the first year. The community discharge rate was 36.5% over the 1-year follow-up, with 20.8% discharged within 30 days and 31.2% discharged within 100 days. The mortality rate over the first year of nursing home residence was 35.0%, with 16.3% deaths within 100 days. At 12 months post long-term care admission, 36.9% of the cohort were in long-term care, 23.4% were in community, 4.7% were in acute care hospitals or other institutions, and 35.0% had died. Conclusion: After a high initial community discharge rate, the majority of patients newly admitted to long-term care experienced multiple transitions while remaining institutionalized until death or the end of 1-year follow-up.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-341
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • Medicare
  • community discharge
  • long-term care nursing home
  • residential history files
  • trajectory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Health Policy
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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