Do Changes in Hospital Outpatient Payments Affect the Setting of Care?
To examine whether decreases in Medicare outpatient payment rates under the Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) caused outpatient care to shift toward the inpatient setting. Data Sources/Study SettingHospital inpatient and outpatient discharge files from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration from 1997 through 2008. Study DesignThis study focuses on inguinal hernia repair surgery, one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures in the United States. We estimate multivariate regressions of inguinal hernia surgery counts in the outpatient setting and in the inpatient setting. The key explanatory variable is the time-varying Medicare payment rate specific to the procedure and hospital. Control variables include time-varying hospital and county characteristics and hospital and year-fixed effects. Principal FindingsOutpatient hernia surgeries fell in response to OPPS-induced rate cuts. The volume of inpatient hernia repair surgeries did not increase in response to reductions in the outpatient reimbursement rate. Conclusions
Potential substitution from the outpatient setting to the inpatient setting does not pose a serious threat to Medicare's efforts to contain hospital outpatient costs.
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ABSTRACT: To provide an overview of statewide hospital discharge databases (HDD), including their uses in health services research and limitations, and to describe Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Enhanced State Data grants to address clinical and race-ethnicity data limitations. Almost all states have statewide HDD collected by public or private data organizations. Statewide HDD, based on the hospital claim with state variations, contain useful core variables and require minimal collection burden. AHRQ's Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project builds uniform state and national research files using statewide HDD. States, hospitals, and researchers use statewide HDD for many purposes. Illustrating researchers' use, during 2011-2014, HSR published 26 HDD-based articles on health policy, access, quality, clinical aspects of care, race-ethnicity and insurance impacts, economics, financing, and research methods. HDD have limitations affecting their use. Five AHRQ grants focused on enhancing clinical data and three grants aimed at improving race-ethnicity data. ICD-10 implementation will significantly affect the HDD. The AHRQ grants, information technology advances, payment policy changes, and the need for outpatient information may stimulate other statewide HDD changes. To remain a mainstay of health services research, statewide HDD need to keep pace with changing user needs while minimizing collection burdens. © Health Research and Educational Trust.Health Services Research 07/2015; 50. DOI:10.1111/1475-6773.12343 · 2.49 Impact Factor