Interinstitutional communication in the delivery of health services is fundamental to continuity of patient care. The purpose of this investigation was to describe the information transferred in the formal home care referral of elderly clients by hospitals and to describe selected organizational and medical condition characteristics that may affect referral content. Results indicated that approximately half of the information recommended by the literature was actually transmitted in the referral form. This information was composed primarily of background and medical data with some nursing care and almost no psychosocial data. More data were transferred when standardized written forms were used, when smaller hospitals provided the information, and when the home health agency was affiliated with the hospital.