Analysis Of Medicare Advantage HMOs Compared With Traditional Medicare Shows Lower Use Of Many Services During 2003-09
ABSTRACT Enrollment in Medicare Advantage, the managed care program for Medicare beneficiaries, has grown rapidly, from 4.6 million enrollees in 2003 to 12.8 million by 2012, or 27 percent of all current Medicare beneficiaries. We analyzed utilization patterns of enrollees in Medicare Advantage health maintenance organization (HMO) plans compared to matched samples of people in traditional Medicare during 2003-09, to ascertain whether the HMO enrollees demonstrated different levels of use of services, which can be a hallmark of more integrated care. We found that utilization rates in some major categories, including emergency departments and ambulatory surgery or procedures, generally were 20-30 percent lower in Medicare Advantage HMOs in all years. Medicare Advantage HMO enrollees initially had lower rates of ambulatory visits and hospitalizations, although these rates converged by 2008; they also received about 10 percent fewer hip or knee replacements. In contrast, HMO enrollees underwent more coronary bypass surgery than patients in traditional Medicare. These findings suggest that overall, Medicare Advantage HMO enrollees might use fewer services and be experiencing more appropriate use of services than enrollees in traditional Medicare.
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ABSTRACT: Pooled data from the 2007, 2009, and 2011/2012 California Health Interview Surveys were used to compare the number of self-reported annual physician visits among 36,808 Medicare beneficiaries ≥65 in insurance groups with differential cost-sharing. Adjusted for adverse selection and a set of health covariates, Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) only beneficiaries had similar physician utilization compared with HMO enrollees but fewer visits compared with those with supplemental (1.04, p = .001) and Medicaid (1.55, p = .003) coverage. FFS only beneficiaries in very good or excellent health had fewer visits compared with those of similar health status with supplemental (1.30, p = .001) or Medicaid coverage (2.15, p = .002). For subpopulations with several chronic conditions, FFS only beneficiaries also had fewer visits compared with beneficiaries with supplemental or Medicaid coverage. Observed differences in utilization may reflect efficient and necessary physician utilization among those with chronic health needs. © The Author(s) 2014.Medical Care Research and Review 12/2014; 72(1). DOI:10.1177/1077558714563169 · 2.57 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Do differences in rates of use among managed care and Fee-for-Service Medicare beneficiaries reflect selection bias or successful care management by insurers? I demonstrate a new method to estimate the treatment effect of insurance status on health care utilization. Using clinical information and risk-adjustment techniques on data on acute admission that are unrelated to recent medical care, I create a proxy measure of unobserved health status. I find that positive selection accounts for between one-quarter and one-third of the risk-adjusted differences in rates of hospitalization for ambulatory care sensitive conditions and elective procedures among Medicare managed care and Fee-for-Service enrollees in 7 years of Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project State Inpatient Databases from Arizona, Florida, New Jersey and New York matched to Medicare enrollment data. Beyond selection effects, I find that managed care plans reduce rates of potentially preventable hospitalizations by 12.5 per 1,000 enrollees (compared to mean of 46 per 1,000) and reduce annual rates of elective admissions by 4 per 1,000 enrollees (mean 18.6 per 1,000).Forum for Health Economics & Policy 05/2013; 16(1):137-161. DOI:10.1515/fhep-2012-0037
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ABSTRACT: With quality-of-care bonus payments now available for Medicare Advantage health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and for accountable care organizations in traditional Medicare, the need to understand the relative quality of care delivered to Medicare enrollees has increased. We compared the quality of ambulatory care from 2003 through 2009 between beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage HMOs and those enrolled in traditional Medicare, and we assessed how the performance of various types of Medicare HMOs differed from that of traditional Medicare for these same measures. We found that beneficiaries in Medicare HMOs were consistently more likely than those in traditional Medicare to receive appropriate breast cancer screening, diabetes care, and cholesterol testing for cardiovascular disease. We also found that Medicare HMO physicians were rated less favorably by their patients than were physicians in traditional Medicare in 2003; however, by 2009 the opposite was true. Not-for-profit, larger, and older Medicare HMOs performed consistently more favorably on clinical measures and ratings of care than for-profit, smaller, and newer HMOs. Our results suggest that the positive effects of more-integrated delivery systems on the quality of ambulatory care in Medicare HMOs may outweigh the potential incentives to restrict care under capitated payments.Health Affairs 07/2013; 32(7):1228-35. DOI:10.1377/hlthaff.2012.0773 · 4.64 Impact Factor