A retrospective comparison of clinical outcomes and Medicare expenditures in skilled nursing facility residents with chronic wounds

Ostomy Wound Manage. 2010 Sep;56(9):44-54.


Medicare skilled nursing facility (SNF) residents with chronic wounds require more resources and have relatively high healthcare expenditures compared to Medicare patients without wounds. A retrospective cohort study was conducted using 2006 Medicare Chronic Condition Warehouse claims data for SNF, inpatient, outpatient hospital, and physician supplier settings along with 2006 Long-Term Care Minimum Data Set (MDS) information to compare Medicare expenditures between two groups of SNF residents with a diagnosis of pressure, venous, ischemic, or diabetic ulcers whose wounds healed during the 10-month study period. The study group (n = 372) was managed using a structured, comprehensive wound management protocol provided by an external wound management team. The matched comparison group consisted of 311 SNF residents who did not receive care from the wound management team. Regression analyses indicate that after controlling for resident comorbidities and wound severity, study group residents experienced lower rates of wound-related hospitalization per day (0.08% versus 0.21%, P < 0.01) and shorter wound episodes (94 days versus 115 days, P < 0.01) than comparison group patients. Total Medicare costs were $21,449.64 for the study group and $40,678.83 for the comparison group (P < 0.01) or $229.07 versus $354.26 (P < 0.01) per resident episode day. Additional studies including wounds that do not heal are warranted. Increasing the number of SNF residents receiving the care described in this study could lead to significant Medicare cost savings. Incorporating wound clinical outcomes into a pay-for-performance measures for SNFs could increase broader SNF adoption of comprehensive wound care programs to treat chronic wounds.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Health Expenditures*
  • Humans
  • Medicare*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States
  • Wounds and Injuries / economics
  • Wounds and Injuries / nursing*