Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Lisa Haddad

Committee Members

Lee Glenn, Sharon Loury, Jean Croce Hemphill, Sangeeta Ahluwalia


Aim. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship of advance care planning protocols with hospitalization, rehospitalization, and emergency department use rates in U. S. home health agencies (HHA).

Background. Since 2003, CMS has required HHAs to report on quality outcomes such as hospitalization, rehospitalization, and emergency department use rates, made publicly available online. Advance care planning (ACP) is a conversation about beliefs, goals, values, future treatment choices, and designation of a surrogate decision-maker, that someone has in advance of a health crisis. Most existing studies on ACP have taken place outside of HHAs among populations with serious illnesses such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, dementia, and end stage renal disease. Meanwhile, the U.S. home health population is living longer with chronic conditions such as pulmonary and cardiovascular illnesses. Effective January 1, 2016, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation implemented the Home Health Value-Based Purchasing (HHVBP) Model among home health agencies (HHAs) in nine states representing each geographic region in the United States. Agencies in these states began competing on value in the HHVBP model, and reimbursement rates began to be tied to quality performance ( As part of HHVBP, CMS implemented an additional process-level mandate requiring them to report on ACP, though this data is not publicly available. It is currently unknown how ACP protocols in HHAs may affect agencies’ overall rates of acute care services use.

Methods. Electronic surveys about ACP protocols were distributed to HHAs. Existing data about demographics, diagnoses, hospitalization, rehospitalization, and ED use were accessed online via CMS websites. Descriptive and regression analyses were conducted using the electronic survey results and the existing data.

Results. Associations between the variables were observed and compared to the hypotheses. Statistical significance was found in the relationship between ACP protocols and hospitalization, where one increased the other increased. Several trends were found: Agencies with increased total percentage of cardiac and pulmonary diagnoses tended to have increased hospitalization rates; agencies with increased average age of patients tended to have increased ACPP scores; and agencies with increased proportion of Black patients tended to have higher hospitalization rates.

Document Type

Dissertation - embargo


Copyright by the authors.

Available for download on Saturday, June 15, 2024