Do Medicare Advantage enrollees tend to be admitted to hospitals with better or worse outcomes compared with fee-for-service enrollees?

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 540 Gaither Road, Rockville, MD 20850, USA.
International Journal of Health Care Finance and Economics (Impact Factor: 0.49). 02/2010; 10(2):171-85. DOI: 10.1007/s10754-010-9076-0
Source: PubMed


The hospitals selected by or for Medicare beneficiaries might depend on whether the patient is enrolled in a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan. A theoretical model of profit maximization by MA plans takes into account the tradeoffs of consumer preferences for annual premium versus outcomes of care in the hospital and other attributes of the plan. Hospital discharge databases for 13 states in 2006, maintained by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, are the main source of data. Risk-adjusted mortality rates are available for all non-maternity adult patients in each of 15 clinical categories in about 1,500 hospitals. All-adult postoperative safety event rates covering 9 categories of events are calculated for surgical cases in about 900 hospitals. Instrumental variables are used to address potential endogeneity of the choice of a MA plan. The key findings are these: enrollees in MA plans tend to be treated in hospitals with lower resource cost and higher risk-adjusted mortality compared to Fee-for-Service (FFS) enrollees. The risk-adjusted mortality measure is about 1.5 percentage points higher for MA plan enrollees than the overall mean of 4%. However, the rate of safety events in surgical patients favors MA plan enrollees--the rate is 1 percentage point below the average of 3.5%. These discrepant results are noteworthy and are plausibly due to greater discretion by the health plan in approving patients for elective surgery and as well as selecting hospitals for surgical patients. Emergency patients are generally excluded for the safety outcome measures. In addition, the current mortality measures may not adequately represent all surgical patients. Such caveats should be prominently highlighted when presenting comparative data. With that proviso, the study justifies informing Medicare beneficiaries about the mortality and safety outcome measures for hospitals being used by a MA plan compared to hospitals used by FFS enrollees.

Download full-text


Available from: H. Joanna Jiang, Dec 16, 2014
18 Reads
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study tests whether the likelihood of hospital readmission within 30 days of discharge is different for enrollees in Medicare Advantage plans versus the standard fee-for-service program. A key requirement is to control for self-selection into Advantage plans. The study uses statewide inpatient databases maintained by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality for five states in 2006. The type of Medicare coverage is known, along with an encrypted patient identifier. We identify eligible first discharges and the first readmission within 30 days. We use selected area characteristics as instrumental variables for enrollment in Advantage plans and apply a bivariate probit analysis. Descriptively, there is a slightly lower likelihood of readmission for Advantage plan enrollees. However, the Advantage plan patients are younger and less severely ill. After risk adjustment and control for self-selection, the enrollees in Advantage plans have a substantially higher likelihood of readmission. Recognizing caveats and limitations, the study supports informing Medicare beneficiaries about the rates of readmission for Advantage plans in their area. Analytical methods to adjust for self-selection into particular plans or plan types should be considered when possible.
    Inquiry: a journal of medical care organization, provision and financing 11/2012; 49(3):202-13. DOI:10.2307/23480513 · 0.55 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: The increasing demand of health care services and the complexity of health care delivery require Health Care Organizations (HCOs) to approach clinical risk management through proper methods and tools. An important aspect of risk management is to exploit the analysis of medical injuries compensation claims in order to reduce adverse events and, at the same time, to optimize the costs of health insurance policies. Objectives: This work provides a probabilistic method to estimate the risk level of a HCO by computing quantitative risk indexes from medical injury compensation claims. Methods: Our method is based on the estimate of a loss probability distribution from compensation claims data through parametric and non-parametric modeling and Monte Carlo simulations. The loss distribution can be estimated both on the whole dataset and, thanks to the application of a Bayesian hierarchical model, on stratified data. The approach allows to quantitatively assessing the risk structure of the HCO by analyzing the loss distribution and deriving its expected value and percentiles. Results: We applied the proposed method to 206 cases of injuries with compensation requests collected from 1999 to the first semester of 2007 by the HCO of Lodi, in the Northern part of Italy. We computed the risk indexes taking into account the different clinical departments and the different hospitals involved. Conclusions: The approach proved to be useful to understand the HCO risk structure in terms of frequency, severity, expected and unexpected loss related to adverse events.
    Methods of Information in Medicine 04/2013; 52(4). DOI:10.3414/ME12-01-0074 · 2.25 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The study examines the likelihood of adverse outcomes associated with selected hospital safety events for two groups of Medicare patients: those enrolled in health maintenance organizations (HMOs) versus those enrolled in fee-for-service (FFS) insurance plans. The authors hypothesize that HMO patients may receive different qualities of hospital services and/or physician services relative to FFS patients. Based on the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project State Inpatient Database, the authors include discharge data on all hospitalized elderly Medicare patients in Florida in 2002 and use multivariate logistic regression models with adjustments for hospital-level clusters. The findings demonstrate that, after adjusting for hospital quality, Medicare HMO patients were at higher risk of adverse outcomes than Medicare FFS patients for iatrogenic pneumothorax, accidental puncture or laceration, and postoperative respiratory failure.
    Social Work in Public Health 11/2013; 28(7):639-51. DOI:10.1080/19371918.2011.592089 · 0.31 Impact Factor