Natalie Leland, associate professor of occupational therapy, is a recipient of an R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health. The four-year, $2.86 million grant from the National Institute on Aging is for her project, "The Impact of Post-Acute Care Payment Changes on Access and Outcomes." Leland is co-principal investigator along with Tracy Mroz, associate professor at the University of Washington.
The study will examine the impact of Medicare's new payment models for skilled nursing facilities and home health agencies on access to care and quality outcomes. Stakeholders have raised concerns that provider organizations may respond to these new models by changing care processes at the expense of quality and safety, resulting in decreased access to rehabilitation services and poorer outcomes for some vulnerable patient populations. This study will employ a mixed-method approach to describe provider responses to maintain quality under the new payment models and examine changes in utilization of rehabilitation services and quality outcomes following implementation of new payment models overall and across vulnerable patient populations.