Variation in Diabetes Care Quality Among Medicare Advantage Plans: Understanding the Role of Case Mix

1University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.
American Journal of Medical Quality (Impact Factor: 1.25). 12/2011; 27(5):377-82. DOI: 10.1177/1062860611428529
Source: PubMed


This study investigates whether variation in Medicare Advantage plan performance on comprehensive diabetes care is explained by the case mix of plans. Using data on 513 Medicare Advantage plan-year observations for 2007 and 2008, the authors estimate multivariate regressions for 3 diabetes care quality measures: (1) hemoglobin screening, (2) low-density lipoprotein screening, and (3) retinal eye exam. Plan case mix is measured with the percentage of a plan's enrollees who have type 1 diabetes with and without comorbidities and the percentage of a plan's enrollees who have type 2 diabetes with and without comorbidities. Plans with a higher percentage of enrollees with type 1 diabetes with comorbidity and plans with a higher percentage of enrollees with type 2 diabetes without comorbidity have lower performance, on average. Finding evidence of a relationship between case mix and Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set performance reinforces the argument for developing standardized risk adjustment or stratification methods in public reporting and pay-for-performance efforts.

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