SNF Part A LOS – 2017


Part A Length of Stay – All SNFs Nationwide

The PDPM enhanced data set has enough information in it to calculate length of stay at the facility level for Part A for 2017. Naturally we’re interested in length of stay so we did a little analysis which we’ll share here.

First, let’s look at the data aggregated. 

You can see the median value for length of stay is around 28 days. That means exactly half of the SNFs have a lower LOS and half are higher. Notice the beautiful, smooth histogram. It looks exactly like you’d expect: non-normal and slightly skewed towards longer lengths of stay. This is a classic histogram pushing against a hard limit.

Ten percent of SNFs average a length of stay less than 19.8 days. Another ten percent average a length of stay greater than 39.3 days. That means that 80% of SNFs have Part A length of stays between 19.8 and 39.3 days. 

Like most other things we’ve looked at (functional scores, nursing categoriesADL scores and even most-used RUG), there is a regional trend to the data. Normally I would show the data aggregated by state or sometimes county. I will show the data by state again but this time I am going include facility-level data as well so you can check out your facility and your peers.

Here is LOS aggregated by state. (simple average by facility) In addition to our usual suspects (west side of Appalachians, Louisiana, Mississippi and New York) we’ve added Texas, Illinois and Wyoming. These states have higher than average LOS. 

Next we’ll look at the data on the facility level. You can see that the aggregation by state paints with a broad brush. There are a variety of LOSs in all states. (The visualization below is interactive. You can zoom in and filter by LOS to help you find your facility.)

A few things stand out to me: 

  • There appear to be a high concentration of SNFs with very low LOS in the northeastern part of the US. It appears that way because it’s largely true AND the SNFs are larger in that part of the country. (The dots are sized by the number of Part A days.) See the close-up to the right. (click to enlarge)
  • SNFs around the gulf coast have on average longer LOS. If you wanted to go to a facility with a LOS less than 23, you’d only have two choices in Mississippi. Louisiana isn’t much better. (I removed the buildings with high LOS for clarity.) (click to enlarge)

no wonder they sing the blues here

If you can’t get your LOS question answered by looking at the data here, contact me. Let’s talk.