What Happens to Patients When They Fracture Their Hip During a Skilled Nursing Facility Stay?

Natalie E. Leland, Pedro Gozalo, Julie Bynum, Vincent Mor, Thomas J. Christian, Joan M. Teno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Objectives: To characterize outcomes of patients experiencing a fall and subsequent hip fracture while in a nursing home receiving skilled nursing facility (SNF) services. Design: Observational study. Participants: Short-stay fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries who experienced their first hip fracture during an SNF stay. Measurements: Outcomes measured in the 90 days after the hip fracture hospitalization included community discharge (with a stay in the community <30 days), successful community discharge (in the community ≥30 days), death, and institutionalization. Results: Between 1999 and 2007, 27,305 hip fractures occurred among short-stay nursing home patients receiving SNF care. After surgical repair of the hip fracture, 83.9% of these patients were discharged from the hospital back to an SNF, with most (99%) returning to the facility where the hip fracture occurred. In the first 90 days after hospitalization, 24.1% of patients died, 7.3% were discharged to the community but remained fewer than 30 days, 14.0% achieved successful community discharge, and 54.6% were still in a health care institution with almost 46.4% having transitioned to long-term care. Conclusion: SNF care aims to maximize the short-stay patient's independence and facilitate a safe community transition. However, experiencing a fall and hip fracture during the SNF stay was a sentinel event that limited the achievement of this goal. There is an urgent need to ensure the integration of fall prevention into the patient's plan of care. Further, falls among SNF patients may serve as indicator of quality, which consumers and payers can use to make informed health care decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)767-774
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Accidental falls
  • Community discharge
  • Hip fracture
  • Skilled nursing facilities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Health Policy
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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