Need Factors Associated with the Intensity of Outpatient Therapy in the Medicare Population

Robert Sandstrom, Anastasia Schmaltz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Aims: Concerns have been raised about unnecessary utilization of outpatient therapy in the U.S. Medicare program. The purpose of this study was to determine if demographic factors, functional limitations and medical conditions are associated with the number (intensity) of outpatient therapy visits. Methods: Data about number of outpatient Medicare visits, demographic information, functional limitations and medical conditions for 2009-2011 was downloaded from the MEPS-HC data files. Descriptive statistics of the dataset were calculated. The relationship between the intensity of therapy services and the variables was determined using a negative binomial regression analysis (p <.05). Results: Worse perceived health status, cognitive limitations, need for activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living help and physical function limitations are associated with greater therapy utilization. Conclusions: Greater intensity of outpatient therapy services is associated with need for assistance with physical, cognitive, and functional limitations in the Medicare population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-249
Number of pages17
JournalPhysical and Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 3 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Rehabilitation
  • Gerontology
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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