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Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR

Timothy T Brown, Chaoran Guo, Christopher Whaley
This study examines how reference-based benefits (RBB) affect patient out-of-pocket payments across outpatient procedures. The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) implemented RBB asymmetrically for outpatient procedures in 2012, only applying RBB to outpatient procedures performed in a hospital outpatient department (HOPD), and not applying RBB to outpatient procedures performed in a lower cost ambulatory surgery center. Using claims data (2009-2013) on arthroscopy and colonoscopy services, we found that for colonoscopy, CalPERS patients paid an average of 63...
August 13, 2018: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
C Holly A Andrilla, Davis G Patterson, Tessa E Moore, Cynthia Coulthard, Eric H Larson
The United States is experiencing an opioid use disorder epidemic. The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act allows nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) to obtain a Drug Enforcement Administration waiver to prescribe medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder. This study projected the potential increase in MAT availability provided by NPs and PAs for rural patients. Using workforce and survey data, and state scope of practice regulations, the number of treatment slots that could be provided by NPs and PAs was estimated for rural areas...
August 9, 2018: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
Brian E McGarry, David C Grabowski
Given the rising cost of long-term care (LTC) services, the selection of a private long-term care insurance (LTCi) policy with inflation protection has critical implications for the ability of this coverage to protect against potentially catastrophic LTC expenses. This study examines the effect of consumers' numeric abilities on the decision to add inflation protection to private LTCi policies. Over 40% of current LTCi policies lack inflation protection. Higher scores on a three-question numeracy scale are associated with increases in the probability of choosing inflation protection at the time of policy purchase, with households answering all three questions correctly being 12 percentage points more likely to have this benefit type relative to those with a numeracy score of 0 ( p = ...
July 1, 2018: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
Brett Lissenden, Rajesh Balkrishnan
To combat risk selection, it is becoming increasingly common for payments to insurers (and providers) to adjust for patients' chronic conditions. A possible unintended negative consequence is to reduce insurers' (and providers') incentives to prevent chronic conditions. This study examined the effect of Medicare's risk adjustment for payments to Medicare Advantage plans, first introduced in 2004, on pneumonia and influenza vaccination for the elderly. The analysis used the 2000 through 2010 waves of the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey and a difference-in-differences approach...
July 1, 2018: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
Gregory Kennedy, Valerie A Lewis, Souma Kundu, Julien Mousqués, Carrie H Colla
Due to high magnitude and variation in spending on post-acute care, accountable care organizations (ACOs) are focusing on transforming management of hospital discharge through relationships with preferred skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). Using a mixed-methods design, we examined survey data from 366 respondents to the National Survey of ACOs along with 16 semi-structured interviews with ACOs who performed well on cost and quality measures. Survey data revealed that over half of ACOs had no formal relationship with SNFs; however, the majority of ACO interviewees had formed preferred SNF networks...
July 1, 2018: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
Zo Ramamonjiarivelo, Robert Weech-Maldonado, Larry Hearld, Rohit Pradhan, Ganisher K Davlyatov
This study examined the effects of public hospitals' privatization on financial performance. We used a sample of nonfederal acute care public hospitals from 1997 to 2013, averaging 434 hospitals per year. Privatization was defined as conversion from public status to either private not-for-profit (NFP) or private for-profit (FP) status. Financial performance was measured by operating margin (OM) and total margin (TM). We used hospital level and year fixed effects linear panel regressions with nonlagged independent and control variables (Model 1), lagged by 1 year (Model 2), and lagged by 2 years (Model 3)...
June 1, 2018: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
Daria M Pelech
The prices that insurers pay physicians ultimately affect beneficiaries' health insurance premiums. Using 2014 claims data from three major insurers, we analyzed the prices insurers paid in their Medicare Advantage (MA) and commercial plans for 20 physician services, in and out of network, and compared those prices with estimated amounts that Medicare's fee-for-service (FFS) program would pay for the same service. MA prices paid by those insurers were close to Medicare FFS prices, varied minimally, and were similar in and out of network...
June 1, 2018: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
John R Bowblis, Amy Restorick Roberts
Health care providers face fixed reimbursement rates from government sources and need to carefully adjust staffing to achieve the highest quality within a given cost structure. With data from the Certification and Survey Provider Enhanced Reports (1999-2015), this study holistically examined how staffing levels affect two publicly reported measures of quality in the nursing home industry, the number of deficiency citations and the deficiency score. While higher staffing consistently yielded better quality, the largest quality improvements resulted from increasing administrative registered nurses and social service staffing...
June 1, 2018: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
Benjamin Lê Cook, Sherry Shu-Yeu Hou, Su Yeon Lee-Tauler, Ana Maria Progovac, Frank Samson, Maria Jose Sanchez
Racial/ethnic minorities in the United States are more likely than Whites to have severe and persistent mental disorders and less likely to access mental health care. This comprehensive review evaluates studies of mental health and mental health care disparities funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to provide a benchmark for the 2015 NIMH revised strategic plan. A total of 615 articles were categorized into five pathways underlying mental health care and three pathways underlying mental health disparities...
June 1, 2018: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
Brady Post, Tom Buchmueller, Andrew M Ryan
Hospital-physician vertical integration is on the rise. While increased efficiencies may be possible, emerging research raises concerns about anticompetitive behavior, spending increases, and uncertain effects on quality. In this review, we bring together several of the key theories of vertical integration that exist in the neoclassical and institutional economics literatures and apply these theories to the hospital-physician relationship. We also conduct a literature review of the effects of vertical integration on prices, spending, and quality in the growing body of evidence ( n = 15) to evaluate which of these frameworks have the strongest empirical support...
August 2018: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
Xing Lin Feng
Policy makers in China are considering consolidating the country's fragmented health insurance programs. This system consists of three components. The Urban Employee Basic Medical Insurance (UEBMI) covers formal employees, the New Cooperative Medical Scheme (NCMS) covers rural residents, and the Urban Resident Basic Medical Insurance (URBMI) covers urban residents. Consolidation could, in theory, create a more efficient health system that is better able to address noncommunicable diseases. Using national survey data during 2011 to 2013, I found that 44% to 76% cases of hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia went undiagnosed among Chinese adults aged 45 and older...
August 2018: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
Angela R Fertig, Caroline S Carlin, Scott Ode, Sharon K Long
We compared new Medicaid enrollees with similar ongoing enrollees for evidence of pent-up demand using claims data following Minnesota's 2014 Medicaid expansion. We hypothesized that if new enrollees had pent-up demand, utilization would decline over time as testing and disease management plans are put in place. Consistent with pent-up demand among new enrollees, the probability of an office visit, a new patient office visit, and an emergency department visit declines over time for new enrollees relative to ongoing Medicaid enrollees...
August 2018: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
Rachel Mosher Henke, Zeynal Karaca, Teresa B Gibson, Eli Cutler, Marguerite L Barrett, Katharine Levit, Jayne Johann, Lauren Hersch Nicholas, Herbert S Wong
Medicare Advantage plans have incentives and tools to optimize patient care. Therefore, Medicare Advantage hospitalizations may have lower cost and higher quality than similar traditional Medicare hospitalizations. We applied a coarsened matching approach to 2013 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project hospital discharge data from 22 states to compare hospital cost, length of stay, and readmissions for Traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage. We found that Medicare Advantage hospitalizations were substantially less expensive and shorter for mental health stays but costlier and longer for injury and surgical stays...
August 2018: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
Michael Rosko, Herbert S Wong, Ryan Mutter
We compared performance, operating characteristics, and market environments of low- and high-efficiency hospitals in the 37 states that supplied inpatient data to the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project from 2006 to 2010. Hospital cost-inefficiency estimates using stochastic frontier analysis were generated. Hospitals were then grouped into the 100 most- and 100 least-efficient hospitals for subsequent analysis. Compared with the least efficient hospitals, high-efficiency hospitals tended to have lower average costs, higher labor productivity, and higher profit margins...
August 2018: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
Mark A Hall, Michael J McCue, Jennifer R Palazzolo
Many insurers incurred financial losses in individual markets for health insurance during 2014, the first year of Affordable Care Act mandated changes. This analysis looks at key financial ratios of insurers to compare profitability in 2014 and 2013, identify factors driving financial performance, and contrast the financial performance of health insurers operating in state-run exchanges versus the federal exchange. Overall, the median loss of sampled insurers was -3.9%, no greater than their loss in 2013. Reduced administrative costs offset increases in medical losses...
June 2018: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
Heidi Allen, Bill Wright, Lauren Broffman
Medicaid expansions through the Affordable Care Act began in January 2014, but we have little information about what is happening in rural areas where provider access and patient resources might be more limited. In 2008, Oregon held a lottery for restricted access to its Medicaid program for uninsured low-income adults not otherwise eligible for public coverage. The Oregon Health Insurance Experiment used this opportunity to conduct the first randomized controlled study of a public insurance expansion. This analysis builds off of previous work by comparing rural and urban survey outcomes and adds qualitative interviews with 86 rural study participants for context...
June 2018: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
Matthew Toth, Mark Holmes, Mark Toles, Courtney Van Houtven, Morris Weinberger, Pam Silberman
Reducing postdischarge Medicare expenditures is a key focus for hospitals. Early follow-up care is an important piece of this focus, but it is unclear whether there are rural-urban differences in the impact of follow-up care on Medicare expenditures. To assess this difference, we use the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey, Cost and Use Files, 2000-2010. We conduct a retrospective analysis of 30-day postdischarge Medicare expenditures using two-stage residual inclusion with a quantile regression, where the receipt of 7-day follow-up care was the main independent variable...
June 2018: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
Benjamin J McMichael, Barbara J Safriet, Peter I Buerhaus
Patients can hold physicians directly or vicariously liable for the malpractice of nurse practitioners under their supervision. Restrictive scope-of-practice laws governing nurse practitioners can ease patients' legal burdens in establishing physician liability. We analyze the effect of restrictive scope-of-practice laws on the number of malpractice payments made on behalf of physicians between 1999 and 2012. Enacting less restrictive scope-of-practice laws decreases the number of payments made by physicians by as much as 31%, suggesting that restrictive scope-of-practice laws have a salient extraregulatory effect on physician malpractice rates...
June 2018: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
Liming Dong, Oludolapo A Fakeye, Garth Graham, Darrell J Gaskin
Racial and ethnic disparities in cardiovascular disease (CVD) outcomes are widely reported, but research has largely focused on differences in quality of inpatient and urgent care to explain these disparate outcomes. The objective of this review is to synthesize recent evidence on racial and ethnic disparities in management of CVD in the ambulatory setting. Database searches yielded 550 articles of which 25 studies met the inclusion criteria. Reviewed studies were categorized into non-interventional studies examining the association between race and receipt of ambulatory CVD services with observational designs, and interventional studies evaluating specific clinical courses of action intended to ameliorate disparities...
June 2018: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
Jens Detollenaere, Amelie Van Pottelberge, Lise Hanssens, Wienke Boerma, Stefan Greß, Sara Willems
Available evidence has suggested that strong primary care (PC) systems are associated with better outcomes. This study aims to investigate whether PC strength is specifically related to the prevalence of patients' financially driven postponement of general practitioner (GP) care. Therefore, data from a cross-sectional multicountry study in 33 countries among GPs and their patients were analyzed using multilevel logistic regression modelling. According to the results, the variation between countries in the levels of patients' postponement of seeking GP care for financial reasons was large...
June 2018: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
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