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Research Studies is a monthly compilation of research articles funded by AHRQ or authored by AHRQ researchers and recently published in journals or newsletters.
Results1 to 25 of 59 Research Studies Displayed
Wilcock AD, Joshi S, Escarce J
Luck of the draw: role of chance in the assignment of Medicare readmissions penalties.
Pay-for-performance programs are one strategy used by health plans to improve the efficiency and quality of care delivered to beneficiaries. Under such programs, providers are often compared against their peers in order to win bonuses or face penalties in payment. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact luck can have on the assessment of performance, the researchers investigated its role in assigning penalties under Medicare's Hospital Readmissions Reduction Policy (HRRP), a program that penalizes hospitals with excess readmissions.
Citation: Wilcock AD, Joshi S, Escarce J . Luck of the draw: role of chance in the assignment of Medicare readmissions penalties. PLoS One 2021 Dec 21;16(12):e0261363. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0261363..
Keywords: Medicare, Payment, Hospital Readmissions, Provider Performance, Quality of Care
Cornelio N, McInerney MP, Mellor JM
Increasing Medicaid's stagnant asset test for people eligible for Medicare and Medicaid will help vulnerable seniors.
Researchers examined states' income and asset tests for full-benefit Medicaid during the period 2006-18 and examined how alternative asset tests would affect eligibility for community-dwelling Medicare beneficiaries ages sixty-five and older. They found that increasing asset limits would lessen restrictions on Medicaid eligibility that arise from stagnant asset tests, broadening eligibility for certain low-income Medicare beneficiaries and allowing them to retain higher, yet still modest, savings.
AHRQ-funded; HS025422; HS026727; HS027698.
Citation: Cornelio N, McInerney MP, Mellor JM . Increasing Medicaid's stagnant asset test for people eligible for Medicare and Medicaid will help vulnerable seniors. Health Affairs 2021 Dec;40(12):1943-52. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2021.00841..
Keywords: Elderly, Medicaid, Medicare, Low-Income, Vulnerable Populations
Liao JM, Chatterjee P, Wang E
The effect of hospital safety net status on the association between bundled payment participation and changes in medical episode outcomes.
This study evaluated whether hospital safety net status affected the association between bundled payment participation and medical outcomes. The hospitals included were participants in Medicare’s Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BCPI) program from 2011-2016. Data from Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction, pneumonia, congestive heart failure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were used. Among BCPI hospitals, safety net status was not associated with differential postdischarge spending or quality. However, BPCI safety net hospitals had differentially greater discharge due to institutional post-acute care and lower discharge home with home health than BPCI non-safety net hospitals.
Citation: Liao JM, Chatterjee P, Wang E . The effect of hospital safety net status on the association between bundled payment participation and changes in medical episode outcomes. J Hosp Med 2021 Dec;16(12):716-23. doi: 10.12788/jhm.3722..
Keywords: Medicare, Payment, Safety Net, Hospitals
Neprash HT, Zink A, Sheridan B
The effect of Medicaid expansion on Medicaid participation, payer mix, and labor supply in primary care.
Citation: Neprash HT, Zink A, Sheridan B . The effect of Medicaid expansion on Medicaid participation, payer mix, and labor supply in primary care. J Health Econ 2021 Dec;80:102541. doi: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2021.102541..
Keywords: Medicare, Healthcare Utilization, Primary Care, Workforce, Health Insurance
Meyers DJ, Rahman M, Wilson IB
The relationship between Medicare Advantage Star Ratings and enrollee experience.
Medicare Advantage plans, private managed care plans that enrolled 34% of Medicare beneficiaries in 2019, received $6 billion in annual bonus payments on the basis of their performance on a 5-star rating system. Little is known, however, as to the extent these ratings adequately capture enrollee experience. The objective of this study was to measure the effect of exposure to higher rated Medicare Advantage contracts on enrollee experience.
Citation: Meyers DJ, Rahman M, Wilson IB . The relationship between Medicare Advantage Star Ratings and enrollee experience. J Gen Intern Med 2021 Dec;36(12):3704-10. doi: 10.1007/s11606-021-06764-y..
Keywords: Medicare, Patient Experience
Duvalyan A, Pandey A, Vaduganathan M
Trends in anticoagulation prescription spending among Medicare Part D and Medicaid beneficiaries between 2014 and 2019.
Researchers examined contemporary direct oral anticoagulant (DOAC) spending patterns within Medicare Part D and Medicaid between 2014 and 2019. They found that, although overall DOAC spending is increasing, DOAC use may be associated with lower downstream medical expenditures compared with warfarin stemming from decreased risk of major bleeding and stroke and reduced drug monitoring.
Citation: Duvalyan A, Pandey A, Vaduganathan M . Trends in anticoagulation prescription spending among Medicare Part D and Medicaid beneficiaries between 2014 and 2019. J Am Heart Assoc 2021 Dec 21;10(24):e022644. doi: 10.1161/jaha.121.022644..
Keywords: Blood Thinners, Medication, Medicare, Medicaid, Healthcare Costs
McInerney M, Mellor JM, Sabik LM. M, Mellor JM, Sabik LM
Welcome mats and on-ramps for older adults: the impact of the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid Expansions on Dual Enrollment in Medicare and Medicaid.
The authors examined whether Medicaid participation by low-income adults age 65 and up increased as a result of Medicaid expansions to working-age adults under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Using American Community Survey data and state variation in ACA Medicaid expansions, they found that Medicaid expansions to working-age adults increased Medicaid participation among low-income older adults by 4.4 percent. They also found evidence of an “on-ramp” effect, which is an important mechanism behind welcome mat effects among some older adults.
Citation: McInerney M, Mellor JM, Sabik LM. M, Mellor JM, Sabik LM . Welcome mats and on-ramps for older adults: the impact of the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid Expansions on Dual Enrollment in Medicare and Medicaid. J Policy Anal Manage 2021 Win;40(1):12-41. doi: 10.1002/pam.22259..
Keywords: Elderly, Medicaid, Medicare, Low-Income, Health Insurance, Policy
Chhabra KR, Sheetz KH, Regenbogen SE
Wide variation in surgical spending within hospital systems: a missed opportunity for bundled payment success.
Researchers sought to measure the extent of variation in episode spending around total hip replacement for fee-for-service Medicare patients within and across hospital systems identified in the American Hospital Association Annual Survey. They found that average episode payments varied nearly as much within hospital systems as they did between the lowest- and highest-cost quintiles of systems, with variation driven by post-acute care utilization.
Citation: Chhabra KR, Sheetz KH, Regenbogen SE . Wide variation in surgical spending within hospital systems: a missed opportunity for bundled payment success. Ann Surg 2021 Dec 1;274(6):e1078-e84. doi: 10.1097/sla.0000000000003741..
Keywords: Surgery, Healthcare Systems, Medicare, Healthcare Costs, Hospitals
Herb J, Staley BS, Roberson M
Use and disparities in parathyroidectomy for symptomatic primary hyperparathyroidism in the Medicare population.
The investigators’ objective was to determine national usage and disparities in parathyroidectomy for symptomatic primary hyperparathyroidism among insured older adults. Data was obtained using Medicare claims. They found that parathyroidectomy was underused and recommended that quality improvement efforts, rooted in equitable care, be undertaken to increase access to parathyroidectomy for this disease.
Citation: Herb J, Staley BS, Roberson M . Use and disparities in parathyroidectomy for symptomatic primary hyperparathyroidism in the Medicare population. Surgery 2021 Nov;170(5):1376-82. doi: 10.1016/j.surg.2021.05.026..
Keywords: Elderly, Disparities, Medicare, Surgery, Racial / Ethnic Minorities
Grafova IB, Jarrín OF
Beyond Black and White: mapping misclassification of Medicare beneficiaries race and ethnicity.
This study examined state-level variation in racial/ethnic misclassification of race and ethnicity in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrative database using the enrollment database (EDB) beneficiary race code and the Research Triangle Institute (RTI) race code. The cohort included 4,231,370 Medicare beneficiaries who utilized home health care services in 2015. The authors found substantial variation between states in misclassification of self-identified Hispanic, Asian American/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native beneficiaries.
Citation: Grafova IB, Jarrín OF . Beyond Black and White: mapping misclassification of Medicare beneficiaries race and ethnicity. Med Care Res Rev 2021 Oct;78(5):616-26. doi: 10.1177/1077558720935733..
Keywords: Medicare, Racial / Ethnic Minorities, Disparities
Arntson E, Dimick JB, Nuliyalu U
Changes in hospital-acquired conditions and mortality associated with the hospital-acquired condition reduction program.
This study evaluated changes in Hospital-Acquired Conditions (HACs) and 30-day mortality after the announcement of the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services’ Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program (HACRP) in August 2013. The authors evaluated models to test for changes in HACs and 30-day mortality before and after the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and after the HACRP. Fee-for-service Medicare claims from 2009 to 2015 were used. The HAC rate declined after the ACA was passed and declined further after the HACRP announcement. However, 30-day mortality rates were unchanged.
Citation: Arntson E, Dimick JB, Nuliyalu U . Changes in hospital-acquired conditions and mortality associated with the hospital-acquired condition reduction program. Ann Surg 2021 Oct 1;274(4):e301-e07. doi: 10.1097/sla.0000000000003641..
Keywords: Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs), Hospitals, Mortality, Medicare, Payment, Prevention, Patient Safety
Roberts ET, Song Z, Ding L
Changes in patient experiences and assessment of gaming among large clinician practices in precursors of the merit-based incentive payment system.
Medicare's Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), a public reporting and pay-for-performance program, adjusts clinician payments based on publicly reported measures that are chosen primarily by clinicians or their practices. Within precursor programs of the MIPS, this study examined 1) practices' selection of Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) patient experience measures for quality scoring under pay-for-performance and 2) the association between mandated public reporting on CAHPS measures and performance on those measures.
Citation: Roberts ET, Song Z, Ding L . Changes in patient experiences and assessment of gaming among large clinician practices in precursors of the merit-based incentive payment system. JAMA Health Forum 2021 Oct;2(10). doi: 10.1001/jamahealthforum.2021.3105..
Keywords: Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS), Patient Experience, Medicare, Provider Performance, Payment, Quality Improvement, Quality of Care
Keeney T, Joyce NR, Meyers DJ
Persistence of high-need status over time among fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries.
This study looked outcomes of fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare beneficiaries identified as high-need (HN). The authors used national-level claims data to classify FFS beneficiaries as HN annually among continuously enrolled beneficiaries between 2013 and 2015. They categorized longitudinal patterns in HN status into being never, newly, transiently, and persistently HN and examined differences in patients’ demographic characteristics and outcomes. Beneficiaries were found to break up into 4% persistently HN, 13% transiently HN, and 6% newly HN. Beneficiaries classified as persistently HN had higher mortality, utilization and expenditures, but classification as HN at any time was associated with poor outcomes.
Citation: Keeney T, Joyce NR, Meyers DJ . Persistence of high-need status over time among fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries. Med Care Res Rev 2021 Oct;78(5):591-97. doi: 10.1177/1077558719901219..
Keywords: Medicare, Healthcare Utilization
Smulowitz PB, O'Malley AJ, McWilliams JM
Variation in rates of hospital admission from the emergency department among Medicare patients at the regional, hospital, and physician levels.
Rates of admission from the emergency department (ED) vary widely across regions of the country, hospitals within regions, and physicians within hospitals. The study objective was to determine the extent to which variation in admission decisions was described by differences in admission rates at these 3 levels. The investigators concluded that within-area variation, both across hospitals within a region and across physicians within a hospital, was a more substantial component of observed variation in admission rates from the ED than regional level variation.
Citation: Smulowitz PB, O'Malley AJ, McWilliams JM . Variation in rates of hospital admission from the emergency department among Medicare patients at the regional, hospital, and physician levels. Ann Emerg Med 2021 Oct;78(4):474-83. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2021.03.020..
Keywords: Medicare, Hospitalization, Emergency Department, Practice Patterns
Luo Z, Gritz M, Connelly L
A survey of primary care practices on their use of the intensive behavioral therapy for obese Medicare patients.
The objective of this study was to fill the gap in knowledge on systematic differences between primary care practices (PCP) that do or do not provide intensive behavioral therapy (IBT) for obese Medicare patients. The investigators concluded that although the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services established payment codes for PCPs to deliver IBT for obesity in 2011, very few providers submitted fee-for-service claims for these services after almost 10 years.
Citation: Luo Z, Gritz M, Connelly L . A survey of primary care practices on their use of the intensive behavioral therapy for obese Medicare patients. J Gen Intern Med 2021 Sep;36(9):2700-08. doi: 10.1007/s11606-021-06596-w..
Keywords: Primary Care, Obesity, Behavioral Health, Medicare, Elderly
Hua CL, Thomas KS, Bunker J
Changes in the agreement between the Minimum Data Set and hospital Medicare claims measures of dementia.
The objective of this study was to examine the agreement between a clinical Minimum Data Set measure of dementia and a diagnosis of dementia documented on a hospital claim across three points in time. A second objective was to examine the extent to which the agreement varied by age, sex, and race/ethnicity. Findings showed that hospital claims for patients aged 66–75 were less likely to be accurate than those for other age groups and suggests that physicians do not always look for signs of dementia in younger adults. Additionally, Asian patients were less likely to have a diagnosis of dementia documented during hospitalization, which could be related to language barriers between patients and clinicians.
Citation: Hua CL, Thomas KS, Bunker J . Changes in the agreement between the Minimum Data Set and hospital Medicare claims measures of dementia. J Am Geriatr Soc 2021 Sep;69(9):2672-75. doi: 10.1111/jgs.17201..
Keywords: Elderly, Dementia, Neurological Disorders, Diagnostic Safety and Quality, Medicare
Markovitz AA, Ayanian JZ, Warrier A
Medicare Advantage plan double bonuses drive racial disparity in payments, yield no quality or enrollment improvements.
Using national data for 2008-18, investigators found that double bonuses were not associated with either improvements in plan quality or increased Medicare Advantage enrollment. Additionally, double bonuses increased payments to plans to care for Black beneficiaries by $60 per year, compared with $91 for White beneficiaries. These findings suggest that double bonuses not only fail to improve quality and enrollment but also foster a racially inequitable distribution of Medicare funds that disfavors Black beneficiaries. This study supports eliminating double bonuses, thereby saving Medicare an estimated $1.8 billion per year.
Citation: Markovitz AA, Ayanian JZ, Warrier A . Medicare Advantage plan double bonuses drive racial disparity in payments, yield no quality or enrollment improvements. Health Aff 2021 Sep;40(9):1411-19. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2021.00349..
Keywords: Medicare, Health Insurance, Payment, Quality Improvement, Quality of Care, Disparities, Racial / Ethnic Minorities
Holaday LW, Balasuriya L, Roy B
Medicare beneficiaries' plans for the COVID-19 vaccine in Fall 2020, and why some planned to decline.
This study uses data from a survey of Medicare beneficiaries conducted in the fall of 2020 before the COVID-19 vaccine was approved to try and predict COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and decline rates. A cross-sectional analysis using the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS) Fall COVID-19 Supplement was used to conduct telephone interviews administered by NORC at the University of Chicago. The analysis included 8,455 community-dwelling Medicare beneficiaries, representative of 50.2 million people. Overall, 58.7% said they would get the vaccine, 15.3% said they would not, and 26.1% were unsure. Least likely to say they would get a vaccine were beneficiaries under 65 years old (48.8%), Black beneficiaries (36.2%) and Hispanic beneficiaries (50.5%). Reasons given for not planning to get vaccinated included 1) the vaccine could have side effects or is not safe (42.4%), 2) do not trust what the government says about the vaccine (42.4%), 3) do not think the vaccine would prevent COVID-19 (11.%), and 4) do not like vaccines or needles (8.2%). Black and Hispanic beneficiaries were more likely to say they were declining because they don’t trust the government than White beneficiaries. Younger beneficiaries were more likely to say the vaccine could cause COVID-19, and only 2% of respondents said they would decline the vaccine because COVID-19 is not serious. The latter group was disproportionately male (77.5%) and White (94.5%).
AHRQ-funded; HS022882; HS025164.
Citation: Holaday LW, Balasuriya L, Roy B . Medicare beneficiaries' plans for the COVID-19 vaccine in Fall 2020, and why some planned to decline. J Am Geriatr Soc 2021 Sep;69(9):2434-37. doi: 10.1111/jgs.17285..
Keywords: COVID-19, Vaccination, Medicare
Nederveld A, Phimphasone-Brady P, Connelly L
The joys and challenges of delivering obesity care: a qualitative study of US primary care practices.
The authors sought to explore the experience of providing obesity management among primary care clinicians and their team members involved with weight loss in primary care practices. They identified three primary themes: (1) clinicians and staff involved in obesity management in primary care believe that addressing obesity is an essential part of primary care services, (2) because providing obesity care can be challenging, many practices opt out of treatment, and (3) despite the challenges, many clinicians and others find treating obesity feasible, satisfying, and worthwhile. The authors concluded that, in order to improve the ability of clinicians and practice members to treat obesity, important changes in payment, education, and work processes are necessary.
Citation: Nederveld A, Phimphasone-Brady P, Connelly L . The joys and challenges of delivering obesity care: a qualitative study of US primary care practices. J Gen Intern Med 2021 Sep;36(9):2709-16. doi: 10.1007/s11606-020-06548-w..
Keywords: Obesity, Obesity: Weight Management, Primary Care, Medicare
Roberts ET, Glynn A, Donohue JM
The relationship between take-up of prescription drug subsidies and Medicaid among low-income Medicare beneficiaries.
In this study, the investigators examined take-up of the Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) and Medicaid among Medicare beneficiaries who qualified for both programs. They went beyond prior analyses that reported average enrollment by program by 1.) examining whether LIS take-up mirrored Medicaid enrollment at income levels where individuals qualified for limited Medicaid benefits that had low take-up rates and 2.) highlighting opportunities for policy reforms to increase participation in both programs.
Citation: Roberts ET, Glynn A, Donohue JM . The relationship between take-up of prescription drug subsidies and Medicaid among low-income Medicare beneficiaries. J Gen Intern Med 2021 Sep;36(9):2873-76. doi: 10.1007/s11606-020-06241-y..
Keywords: Medicaid, Medicare, Medication, Low-Income, Health Insurance
Hoffman GJ, U U, Bynum J
Alzheimer's disease and related dementias and episode spending under Medicare's Bundled Payment for Care Improvements Advanced (BPCI-A).
Investigators evaluated the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) across the episodes included in Medicare's Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Advanced (BPCI-A) program and the association between ADRD and 90-day spending among hospitals participating in the BPCI-A program. They found that ADRD is associated with higher episode spending, highlighting the importance of closely monitoring the experience of these patients under BPCI-A to ensure that they are receiving appropriate care. This is particularly important for episodes like sepsis and pneumonia that are common among patients with ADRD and also highly prevalent under BPCI-A.
Citation: Hoffman GJ, U U, Bynum J . Alzheimer's disease and related dementias and episode spending under Medicare's Bundled Payment for Care Improvements Advanced (BPCI-A). J Gen Intern Med 2021 Aug;36(8):2499-502. doi: 10.1007/s11606-020-06348-2..
Keywords: Elderly, Dementia, Medicare, Payment
Moloci NM, Si Y, Norton EC
Predicting losses from Medicare Shared Savings Program departures.
Researchers conducted an observational study to understand how accountable care organization (ACO) exit could affect Shared Savings Program (SSP) financial performance. They found that nearly 80% of ACOs were still active at the end of 2016. Among the subset that faced contract renewal in 2019, 40% were known to have exited the SSP. By 2022, ACOs that exited in 2019 could cost the SSP $186.9 million in lost savings. If the exit rate observed in 2019 continues, the SSP could suffer $396.8 million in lost savings by 2022.
AHRQ-funded; HS024525; HS024728.
Citation: Moloci NM, Si Y, Norton EC . Predicting losses from Medicare Shared Savings Program departures. J Gen Intern Med 2021 Aug;36(8):2490-91. doi: 10.1007/s11606-020-06424-7..
Keywords: Medicare, Health Insurance, Healthcare Costs
Olfson M, Stroup TS, Huang C
Suicide risk in Medicare patients with schizophrenia across the life span.
The purpose of this study was to describe suicide mortality rates and correlates among adults with schizophrenia across the life span and standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) for suicide compared with the general US population. The investigators concluded that in this cohort study of adult Medicare patients with schizophrenia, suicide risk was elevated, with the highest absolute and relative risk among young adults. They indicated that these patterns supported suicide prevention efforts with a focus on young adults with schizophrenia, especially those with suicidal symptoms and substance use.
Citation: Olfson M, Stroup TS, Huang C . Suicide risk in Medicare patients with schizophrenia across the life span. JAMA Psychiatry 2021 Aug;78(8):876-85. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2021.0841..
Keywords: Medicare, Behavioral Health
Reid RO, Mafi JN, Baseman LH
Waste in the Medicare program: a national cross-sectional analysis of 2017 low-value service use and spending.
Low-value health care services offer patients little to no clinical benefit, increase spending, and may cause patient harm. In this analysis, the investigators provided updated national estimates of low-value service use and spending in Medicare in 2017. The investigators concluded that their findings suggest that targeted interventions to reduce low-value services—particularly the narrow subset responsible for the majority of spending—could substantially reduce wasteful Medicare spending.
Citation: Reid RO, Mafi JN, Baseman LH . Waste in the Medicare program: a national cross-sectional analysis of 2017 low-value service use and spending. J Gen Intern Med 2021 Aug;36(8):2478-82. doi: 10.1007/s11606-020-06061-0..
Keywords: Medicare, Value, Healthcare Costs
Do Medicare's facility fees incentivize hospitals to vertically integrate with oncologists?
Within the past decade, the U.S. health care market has undergone massive vertical integration, prompting economists to study the underlying causes and consequences of hospital-physician integration. This paper examined whether or not hospitals strategically chose to vertically integrate with clinical oncologists in order to capture facility fees, a commonly cited reason for increased consolidation in the health care market.
Citation: Valdez S . Do Medicare's facility fees incentivize hospitals to vertically integrate with oncologists? Inquiry 2021 Jan-Dec;58:469580211022968. doi: 10.1177/00469580211022968..
Keywords: Medicare, Hospitals, Provider: Physician