Medical Staffing Organization and Quality of Care Outcomes in Post-acute Care Settings


Laura M Wagner, Paul Katz, Jurgis Karuza, Connie Kwong, Lori Sharp, and Joanne Spetz

November 4, 2020

Medical providers are significant drivers of care in post-acute long-term care (PALTC) settings, yet little research has examined the medical provider workforce and its role in ensuring quality of care. This study examined the impact of nursing home medical staffing organization (NHMSO) dimensions on the quality of care in U.S. nursing homes. The principal data source was a survey specifically designed to study medical staff organization for post-acute care. Respondents were medical directors and attending physicians providing PALTC. We linked a number of medical provider and nursing home characteristics to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services Nursing Home Compare quality measures hypothesized to be sensitive to input by medical providers.

From the sample of nursing home medical providers surveyed (n = 1,511), 560 responses were received, yielding a 37% response rate; 425 medical provider responses contained sufficient data for analysis. The results of the impact of NHMSO dimensions were mixed, with many domains not having any significance or having negative relationships between provider characteristics and quality measures. Respondents who reported having a formal process for granting privileges and nursing homes with direct employment of physicians reported significantly fewer emergency visits.