Utilization of rehabilitation therapy services in Parkinson disease in the United States

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OBJECTIVE: To examine rehabilitation therapy utilization for Parkinson disease (PD).

METHODS: We identified 174,643 Medicare beneficiaries with a diagnosis of PD in 2007 and followed them through 2009. The main outcome measures were annual receipt of physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT), or speech therapy (ST).

RESULTS: Outpatient rehabilitation fee-for-service use was low. In 2007, only 14.2% of individuals with PD had claims for PT or OT, and 14.6% for ST. Asian Americans were the highest users of PT/OT (18.4%) and ST (18.4%), followed by Caucasians (PT/OT 14.4%, ST 14.8%). African Americans had the lowest utilization (PT/OT 7.8%, ST 8.2%). Using logistic regression models that accounted for repeated measures, we found that African American patients (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 0.63 for PT/OT, AOR 0.63 for ST) and Hispanic patients (AOR 0.97 for PT/OT, AOR 0.91 for ST) were less likely to have received therapies compared to Caucasian patients. Patients with PD with at least one neurologist visit per year were 43% more likely to have a claim for PT evaluation as compared to patients without neurologist care (AOR 1.43, 1.30-1.48), and this relationship was similar for OT evaluation, PT/OT treatment, and ST. Geographically, Western states had the greatest use of rehabilitation therapies, but provider supply did not correlate with utilization.

CONCLUSIONS: This claims-based analysis suggests that rehabilitation therapy utilization among older patients with PD in the United States is lower than reported for countries with comparable health care infrastructure. Neurologist care is associated with rehabilitation therapy use; provider supply is not.

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Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Female; Geography, Medical; Humans; Logistic Models; Male; Medicare; Parkinson Disease; Physical Therapy Modalities; United States

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