Employment of therapy assistants enables skilled nursing facilities to provide more therapy services at lower costs. Yet little is known about employment of therapy assistants relative to organizational characteristics. Taking advantage of publicly available Medicare administrative data from 2016, we examined the relationships between organizational characteristics of skilled nursing facilities and employment of therapy assistants. Therapy assistants represent approximately half of the therapy workforce in skilled nursing facilities. Regression analyses indicate significantly higher percentages of therapy assistants are employed in facilities that are staffed by contract therapists, provide more therapy, have more total stays, operate in rural areas, and are located in states with certificate of need laws or moratoria. Skilled nursing facility quality was not significantly associated with employment of therapy assistants. As new payment mechanisms change incentivizes for therapy in skilled nursing facilities, employment of therapy assistants may be a cost-effective way to continue to provide services when necessary.
Authors:Mroz TM, Dahal A, Prusynski R, Skillman S, Frogner BK
Journal/Publisher:Medical Care Research and Review
Link to ArticleAccess the article here: Medical Care Research and Review
Citation:Mroz TM, Dahal A, Prusynski R, Skillman SM, Frogner BK. Variation in employment of therapy assistants in skilled nursing facilities based on organizational factors. Med Care Res Rev . 2021;78(1_suppl):40S-46S. doi:10.1177/1077558720952570
Related Studies:Supply of and Demand for Therapy Services in Skilled Nursing Facilities