Is Telephone Screening Feasible? Accuracy and Cost-Effectiveness of Identifying Persons Medically Eligible for Home- and Community-Based Services
(2004). Is Telephone Screening Feasible? Accuracy and Cost-Effectiveness of Identifying Persons Medically Eligible for Home- and Community-Based Services. The Gerontologist, 44(5), pp.680-688.
Purpose: To determine the accuracy of a telephone-screening system to identify persons eligible for home- and community-based long-term care. Design and Methods: Data from Michigan telephone screens were compared to data from in-person assessments using the Minimum Data Set for Home Care (MDS-HC). Weighted kappa statistics measured the level of agreement between the two assessments. Results: Overall, recommendations based on the telephone screen produced a marginal match compared to recommendations based on in-person assessment. "False positives" (individuals scoring as more impaired on the telephone screen than in person) occurred in 27% of all cases, while "false negatives" (individuals scoring as less impaired on the telephone screen) only occurred among 6% of the callers. Neither individual screen questions, source of information, location of the individual, timing between screen and assessment, nor temporal changes accounted for mismatches. Telephone screens resulted in an 11% savings over the cost of providing in-person assessments to all program seekers. Implications: The telephone screen has utility as a broad targeting mechanism that allows agencies to avoid costly in-person assessments for all program seekers. Evidence does not support use of the telephone screen alone to determine either medical eligibility or a specific level of care (abstract from: ~http://gerontologist.gerontologyjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/44/5/680?~maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&author1=fries%2C+be&searchid=1&~FIRSTINDEX=0&sortspec=relevance&resourcetype=HWCIT).
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