Impact of Socioeconomic Adjustment on Physicians' Relative Cost of Care
*RAND, Arlington, VA †Kaiser Permanente Center for Effectiveness and Safety Research, Oakland, CA ‡RAND, Pittsburgh, PA.Medical care (Impact Factor: 3.23). 04/2013; 51(5). DOI: 10.1097/MLR.0b013e31828d1251
BACKGROUND:: Ongoing efforts to profile physicians on their relative cost of care have been criticized because they do not account for differences in patients' socioeconomic status (SES). The importance of SES adjustment has not been explored in cost-profiling applications that measure costs using an episode of care framework. OBJECTIVES:: We assessed the relationship between SES and episode costs and the impact of adjusting for SES on physicians' relative cost rankings. RESEARCH DESIGN:: We analyzed claims submitted to 3 Massachusetts commercial health plans during calendar years 2004 and 2005. We grouped patients' care into episodes, attributed episodes to individual physicians, and standardized costs for price differences across plans. We accounted for differences in physicians' case mix using indicators for episode type and a patient's severity of illness. A patient's SES was measured using an index of 6 indicators based on the zip code in which the patient lived. We estimated each physician's case mix-adjusted average episode cost and percentile rankings with and without adjustment for SES. RESULTS:: Patients in the lowest SES quintile had $80 higher unadjusted episode costs, on average, than patients in the highest quintile. Nearly 70% of the variation in a physician's average episode cost was explained by case mix of their patients, whereas the contribution of SES was negligible. After adjustment for SES, only 1.1% of physicians changed relative cost rankings >2 percentiles. CONCLUSIONS:: Accounting for patients' SES has little impact on physicians' relative cost rankings within an episode cost framework.
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ABSTRACT: In-hospital cardiopulmonary arrest (CPA) accounts for substantial morbidity and mortality. Rapid response teams (RRTs) are designed to prevent non-intensive care unit (ICU) CPA through early detection and intervention. However, existing evidence has not consistently demonstrated a clear benefit. To explore the effectiveness of a novel RRT program design to decrease non-ICU CPA and overall hospital mortality. This study was conducted from the start of fiscal year 2005 to 2011. In November 2007, our hospitals implemented RRTs as part of a novel resuscitation program. Charge nurses from each inpatient unit underwent training as unit-specific RRT members. Additionally, all inpatient staff received annual training in RRT concepts including surveillance and recognition of deterioration. We compared the incidence of ICU and non-ICU CPA from first complete preimplementation year 2006 to postimplementation years 2007 to 2011. Overall hospital mortality was also reported. The incidence of non-ICU CPA decreased, whereas the incidence of ICU CPA remained unchanged. Overall hospital mortality also decreased (2.12% to 1.74%, P < 0.001). The year-over-year change in RRT activations was inversely related to the change in Code Blue activations for each inpatient unit (r = -0.68, P < 0.001). Our novel RRT program was associated with a decreased incidence of non-ICU CPA and improved hospital mortality. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2015. © 2015 Society of Hospital Medicine. © 2015 Society of Hospital Medicine.
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ABSTRACT: To evaluate patient satisfaction in outpatient pediatric surgical care and assess differences in scores by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status (SES). Observational, cross-sectional analysis. Outpatient pediatric surgical specialty clinics at a tertiary academic center. Families of patients received a patient satisfaction survey following their initial care visit in 2012. Mean scores were calculated and compared by child race/ethnicity and insurance type, where insurance with medical assistance (MA) served as a proxy for low SES. Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to compare scores between groups. Surveys were dichotomized to low and high scorers, and multivariate logistic regression was used to calculate the likelihood of high satisfaction. Of 527 surveys completed, 132 (25%) were for children with MA and 143 (27%) were for racial/ethnic minority children. The overall satisfaction score for all specialties was 84.8, which did not significantly differ by SES (P = .98) or minority status (P = .52). The survey item with the highest score in both SES groups was "degree to which provider talked with you using words you could understand" (overall mean 91.94, P = .23). Multivariate analysis showed that patient age, sex, race/ethnicity, insurance type, neighborhood SES, neighborhood diversity, or surgical department did not significantly influence satisfaction. This is the first study to evaluate the relationship between SES and race/ethnicity with patient satisfaction in outpatient pediatric surgical specialty care. In this analysis, no disparities were identified in the patient experience by individual- or community-level factors. Although the survey methodologies may be limited, these findings suggest that provision of care in pediatric surgical specialties can be simultaneously equitable, culturally competent, and family centered. © American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery Foundation 2015.
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