For air-fluidized bed therapy patients, the HCCs conducted a home visit weekly for the first 4 weeks, and then biweekly for as long as the patient remained on the air-fluidized bed.
Virtually all patients in both the home air-fluidized bed therapy group and the control group had most or wet-to-dry dressings.
Patients were followed for a 36-week period and divided into the following groups: (1) patients who completed the 36-week home care regimen; (2) patients who died during the study; (3) "completely dropped" patients, ie, those who did not follow the prescribed home care and data reporting regimen or, in one case, died before the air-fluidized bed was installed; and (4) "partially dropped" patients, ie, patients how enrolled in the study and followed the study protocol for only part of the 36-week study period.
The model also assumed a charge of $70 for each day a patient was receiving air-fluidized bed therapy.
It was assumed that Medicare would also pay for 80% of the $70-per-day charge for air-fluidized bed therapy.
The air-fluidized bed therapy group (n = 58) and the control group (n = 54) were very similar with regard to age, sex, education, principal payer, type of home support, reasons for immobility, and continence (Table 1); no differences were statistically significant.
Excluding patients in the "completely dropped" category, there were 47 patients in the group that received air-fluidized bed therapy and 50 patients in the control group who were receiving conventional therapy.
Air-fluidized bed therapy patients used the bed for an average of 116 days, or for 56% of the average available time (Table 3).