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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 168 Research Studies Displayed
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
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
Kandel ZK, Rittenhouse DR, Bibi S
The CMS State Innovation Models Initiative and improved health information technology and care management capabilities of physician practices.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) State Innovation Models (SIMs) initiative funded 17 states to implement health care payment and delivery system reforms to improve health system performance. The authors investigated whether SIM improved health information technology (HIT) and care management capabilities of physician practices. They found that the CMS SIM Initiative did not accelerate the adoption of ten foundational physician practice capabilities beyond national trends.
Citation: Kandel ZK, Rittenhouse DR, Bibi S . The CMS State Innovation Models Initiative and improved health information technology and care management capabilities of physician practices. Med Care Res Rev 2021 Aug;78(4):350-60. doi: 10.1177/1077558719901217..
Keywords: Health Information Technology (HIT), Healthcare Delivery, Payment, Healthcare Systems, Innovations and Emerging Issues
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
Fung V, McCarthy S, Price M
Payment discrepancies and access to primary care physicians for dual-eligible Medicare-Medicaid beneficiaries.
This study examined whether the Affordable Care Act (ACA) primary care fee bump for dual-eligible Medicare-Medicaid beneficiaries impacted primary care physicians (PCP) acceptance of duals. The authors assessed differences in the likelihood that PCPs had dual caseloads of ≥10% or 20% in states with lower versus full dual reimbursement using linear probability models adjusted for physician and area-level traits. The proportion of PCPs with dual caseloads of ≥10% or 20% decreased significantly between 2012 and 2017. The fee bump was not consistently associated with increases in dual caseloads.
Citation: Fung V, McCarthy S, Price M . Payment discrepancies and access to primary care physicians for dual-eligible Medicare-Medicaid beneficiaries. Med Care 2021 Jun;59(6):487-94. doi: 10.1097/mlr.0000000000001525..
Keywords: Primary Care, Medicaid, Medicare, Health Insurance, Payment, Access to Care
Sanghavi P, Jena AB, Newhouse JP
Identifying outlier patterns of inconsistent ambulance billing in Medicare.
The objective of this study was to illustrate a method that accounts for sampling variation in identifying suppliers and counties with outlying rates of a particular pattern of inconsistent billing for ambulance services to Medicare. The investigators concluded that health care fraud and abuse were frequently asserted but could be difficult to detect. They suggested that their data-driven approach may be a useful starting point for further investigation.
AHRQ-funded; 6HS022798; HS025720.
Citation: Sanghavi P, Jena AB, Newhouse JP . Identifying outlier patterns of inconsistent ambulance billing in Medicare. Health Serv Res 2021 Apr;56(2):188-92. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.13622..
Keywords: Medicare, Payment, Health Services Research (HSR)
Haddad DN, Shipe ME, Absi TS
Preparing for bundled payments: impact of complications post-coronary artery bypass grafting on costs.
This study examined the impact of complications on bundled payments for coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) for care provided from admission through 90 days post-discharge. The authors linked clinical and internal cost data for patients undergoing CABG from 2014 to 2017 at a single institution. They performed multivariable linear regression to evaluate drivers of high costs, adjusting for preoperative and intraoperative characteristics and postoperative complications. They reviewed records of 1789 patients undergoing CABG with an average of 2.7 vessels. A large proportion of patients were diabetic and obese. Factors associated with increased adjusted costs were preoperative renal failure, diabetes and body mass index, postoperative stroke, prolonged ventilation, rebleeding requiring reoperation, and renal failure with varying magnitude.
Citation: Haddad DN, Shipe ME, Absi TS . Preparing for bundled payments: impact of complications post-coronary artery bypass grafting on costs. Ann Thorac Surg 2021 Apr;111(4):1258-63. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2020.06.105..
Keywords: Cardiovascular Conditions, Surgery, Adverse Events, Healthcare Costs, Payment
Ukhanova M, Marino M, Angier H
The impact of capitated payment on preventive care utilization in community health clinics.
Only half of the United States population regularly receives recommended preventive care services. Alternative payment models (e.g., a per-member-per-month capitated payment model) may encourage the delivery of preventive services when compared to a fee-for-service visit based model; however, evaluation is lacking in the United States. This study assessed the impact of implementing Oregon's Alternative Payment Methodology (APM) on orders for preventive services within community health centers (CHCs).
Citation: Ukhanova M, Marino M, Angier H . The impact of capitated payment on preventive care utilization in community health clinics. Prev Med 2021 Apr;145:106405. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2020.106405..
Keywords: Payment, Community-Based Practice, Prevention, Healthcare Utilization
Zachrison KS, Boggs KM, Cash RE
Are state telemedicine parity laws associated with greater use of telemedicine in the emergency department?
Telemedicine is a valuable tool to improve access to specialty care in emergency departments (EDs), and states have passed telemedicine parity laws requiring insurers to reimburse for telemedicine visits. The objective of this study was to determine if there was an association between such laws and the use of telemedicine in an ED. The investigators concluded that telemedicine parity laws were not associated with use of telemedicine in the ED.
Citation: Zachrison KS, Boggs KM, Cash RE . Are state telemedicine parity laws associated with greater use of telemedicine in the emergency department? J Am Coll Emerg Physicians Open 2021 Feb;2(1):e212359. doi: 10.1002/emp2.12359..
Keywords: Telehealth, Emergency Department, Health Information Technology (HIT), Policy, Payment
Post B, Norton EC, Hollenbeck B
Hospital-physician integration and Medicare's site-based outpatient payments.
Citation: Post B, Norton EC, Hollenbeck B . Hospital-physician integration and Medicare's site-based outpatient payments. Health Serv Res 2021 Feb;56(1):7-15. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.13613..
Keywords: Hospitals, Payment, Medicare, Ambulatory Care and Surgery, Healthcare Delivery
Cottrell EK, Dambrun K, O'Malley J
Documenting new ways of delivering care under Oregon's Alternative Payment and Advanced Care Model.
This study’s objective was to describe trends in rates of traditional face-to-face office visits and “Care Services That Engage Patients” (Care STEPs) documentation among community health centers (CHCs) involved in the first 3 phases Oregon’s Alternative Payment and Advanced Care Model (APCM) pilot program. In this program, participating community health centers (CHCs) received per-member-per-month payments for empaneled Medicaid patients in lieu of standard fee-for-service Medicaid payments. Among participating CHCs, the mean rate of face-to-face visits with billable providers declined. Care STEPS documentation increased, but the difference was not statistically significant. The Care STEPs category New Visit Types were documented most frequently. There were significant increases in document of Patient Care Coordination and Integration, and a smaller but still significant increase in Reducing Barriers to Health. There was a significant decrease in documentation done by physicians and advanced practice providers with an increase by ancillary staff.
AHRQ-funded; R01 HS022651.
Citation: Cottrell EK, Dambrun K, O'Malley J . Documenting new ways of delivering care under Oregon's Alternative Payment and Advanced Care Model. J Am Board Fam Med 2021 Jan-Feb;34(1):78-88. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2021.01.200027..
Keywords: Healthcare Delivery, Payment, Community-Based Practice, Medicaid
Spivack SB, Murray GF, Rodriguez HP
Avoiding Medicaid: characteristics of primary care practices with no Medicaid revenue.
Primary care access for Medicaid patients is an ongoing area of concern. Most studies of providers' participation in Medicaid have focused on factors associated with the Medicaid program, such as reimbursement rates. Few studies have examined the characteristics of primary care practices associated with Medicaid participation. In this study, the investigators used a nationally representative survey of primary care practices to compare practices with no, low, and high Medicaid revenue.
Citation: Spivack SB, Murray GF, Rodriguez HP . Avoiding Medicaid: characteristics of primary care practices with no Medicaid revenue. Health Aff 2021 Jan;40(1):98-104. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2020.00100..
Keywords: Medicaid, Health Insurance, Payment, Primary Care, Provider
Brewster AL, Fraze TK, Gottlieb LM
The role of value-based payment in promoting innovation to address social risks: a cross-sectional study of social risk screening by US physicians.
The authors studied the conditions under which value-based payment will encourage health care providers to innovate to address upstream social risks. Their results indicated that implementation of social risk screening was not associated with overall exposure to value-based payment for physician practices. They recommended expanding social risk screening in order to reduce the level of innovative capacity required.
Citation: Brewster AL, Fraze TK, Gottlieb LM . The role of value-based payment in promoting innovation to address social risks: a cross-sectional study of social risk screening by US physicians. Milbank Q 2020 Dec;98(4):1114-33. doi: 10.1111/1468-0009.12480..
Keywords: Payment, Social Determinants of Health, Practice Patterns, Innovations and Emerging Issues, Screening, Risk, Value, Socioeconomic Factors, Nutrition, Vulnerable Populations
Hambley BC, Anderson KE, Shanbhag SP
Payment incentives and the use of higher-cost drugs: a retrospective cohort analysis of intravenous iron in the Medicare population.
Researchers examined prescribing patterns in the context of intravenous (IV) iron, for which multiple similarly safe and efficacious formulations exist, with wide variations in price. Using Medicare data, they found an increase in the dispensing of a higher-priced IV iron formulation associated with a shortage of a less expensive drug that persisted once the shortage ended. They concluded that their findings in IV iron have broader implications for Part B drug payment policy because the price of the drug determines the physician and health system payment.
Citation: Hambley BC, Anderson KE, Shanbhag SP . Payment incentives and the use of higher-cost drugs: a retrospective cohort analysis of intravenous iron in the Medicare population. Am J Manag Care 2020 Dec;26(12):516-22. doi: 10.37765/ajmc.2020.88539..
Keywords: Elderly, Medication, Medicare, Payment, Healthcare Costs, Practice Patterns
Roberts ET, Nimgaonkar A, Aarons J
New evidence of state variation in Medicaid payment policies for dual Medicare-Medicaid enrollees.
The authors developed the first longitudinal database of state Medicaid policies for paying the cost sharing in Medicare Part B for services provided to dual Medicare-Medicaid enrollees (duals), and an index summarizing the impact of these policies on payments for physician office services. Information from 2004-2018 was consolidated from online Medicaid policy documents, state laws, and policy data reported to them by state Medicaid programs. The database showed that in 2018 42 states had policies to limit Medicaid payments of Medicare cost sharing when Medicaid’s fee schedule was lower than Medicare’s. This was an increase from 36 such states in 2004. In most states, combined Medicare and Medicare payments for evaluation and management services provided to duals averaged 78% of the Medicare allowed amount for these services.
Citation: Roberts ET, Nimgaonkar A, Aarons J . New evidence of state variation in Medicaid payment policies for dual Medicare-Medicaid enrollees. Health Serv Res 2020 Oct;55(5):701-09. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.13545..
Keywords: Medicaid, Medicare, Payment, Policy, Healthcare Costs, Health Insurance
Ganguli I, Lupo C, Mainor AJ
Association between specialist compensation and Accountable Care Organization performance.
This study’s objective was to determine whether Medicare Shared Savings Program Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) using cost reduction measures in specialist compensation demonstrated better performance. National cross-sectional survey data on ACOs from 2013-2015 was linked to public-use data on ACO performance from 2014-2016. Out of 160 ACOs surveys, 26% reported using cost reduction measures to help determine specialist compensation. However, these ACOs did not have savings in the short term.
Citation: Ganguli I, Lupo C, Mainor AJ . Association between specialist compensation and Accountable Care Organization performance. Health Serv Res 2020 Oct;55(5):722-28. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.13323..
Keywords: Provider Performance, Healthcare Costs, Value, Payment, Medicare
AHRQ Author: Encinosa WE
Is it time for ACOs to start tackling the high costs of surgery?
This article discusses an article appearing in the same issue revisiting the impact of Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) accountable care organizations (ACOs) on surgery expenditures. The author suggests that, in order to engage even more surgeons, it is likely that MSSP ACOs will have to work with surgeons in the various Medicare bundled payment programs for surgery. He concludes that the next stage is to examine how these different programs can work together to produce even more savings in surgical care.
Citation: Encinosa WE . Is it time for ACOs to start tackling the high costs of surgery? Am J Accountable Care 2020 Sep 15;8(3):26-27..
Keywords: Surgery, Healthcare Costs, Medicaid, Health Insurance, Payment, Value
Apathy NC, Everson J
High rates of partial participation in the first year of the merit-based incentive payment system.
This article discusses concerns over the implementation of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) for clinicians, which was authorized with the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015. Data was analyzed from 2017, the first implementation year of MIPS. The authors found that although 90% of participating clinicians reported performance equal to or better than the lower performance threshold of 3 out of 100, almost half of clinicians did not participate in at least one of the three program categories. Even with the low participation rate, 74% of clinicians who only partially participated in the program received positive payment adjustments. The findings underline concerns that the design may have been too flexible to effectively incentivize clinicians to make incremental progress across all targeted aspects of the program (quality, advancing care information, and improvement activities).
AHRQ-funded; K12 HS026395.
Citation: Apathy NC, Everson J . High rates of partial participation in the first year of the merit-based incentive payment system. Health Aff 2020 Sep;39(9):1513-21. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2019.01648..
Keywords: Payment, Medicare, Medicaid, Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Health Insurance
Reynolds EL, Kerber KA, Hill C
The effects of the Medicare NCS reimbursement policy: utilization, payments, and patient access.
The purpose of this research was to determine whether the 2013 nerve conduction study (NCS) reimbursement reduction changed Medicare use, payments, and patient access to Medicare physicians by performing a retrospective analysis of Medicare data. The investigators found that the Medicare NCS reimbursement policy resulted in a larger decrease in NCS providers than in EMG providers. Despite fewer neurologists and physiatrists performing NCS, Medicare access to these physicians for E/M services was not affected.
AHRQ-funded; HS017690; HS022258.
Citation: Reynolds EL, Kerber KA, Hill C . The effects of the Medicare NCS reimbursement policy: utilization, payments, and patient access. Neurology 2020 Aug 18;95(7):e930-e35. doi: 10.1212/wnl.0000000000010090..
Keywords: Payment, Medicare, Policy, Practice Patterns
Kennedy G, Lewis VA, Kundu S
Kennedy G, Lewis VA, Kundu S, Mousqués J, Colla CH. Accountable care organizations and post-acute care: a focus on preferred SNF networks.
This study examined the relationship between accountable care organizations (ACOs) and skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) for patients who are discharged from a hospital into a SNF. A mixed-method design was used and survey data was examined from 366 respondents to the National Survey of ACOs along with 16 semi-structured interviews with ACOs who performed well on cost and quality measures. Over half of ACOs had no formal relationship with SNFs; however the majority of ACO interviewees had preferred SNF networks. These preferred networks are beginning to transform the ACO post-acute care landscape.
Citation: Kennedy G, Lewis VA, Kundu S . Kennedy G, Lewis VA, Kundu S, Mousqués J, Colla CH. Accountable care organizations and post-acute care: a focus on preferred SNF networks. Med Care Res Rev 2020 Aug;77(4):312-23. doi: 10.1177/1077558718781117..
Keywords: Nursing Homes, Healthcare Costs, Payment, Value
Machta RM, Reschovsky J, Jones DJ
AHRQ Author: Furukawa MF
Can vertically integrated health systems provide greater value: the case of hospitals under the comprehensive care for joint replacement model?
The authors sought to assess whether system providers perform better than non-system providers under an alternative payment model that incentivizes high-quality, cost-efficient care. Using CMS data linked to AHRQ’s Compendium of US Health Systems, along with secondary sources, they found that when operating under alternative payment model incentives, vertical integration may enable hospitals to lower costs with similar quality scores.
AHRQ-authored; AHRQ-funded; 290201600001C.
Citation: Machta RM, Reschovsky J, Jones DJ . Can vertically integrated health systems provide greater value: the case of hospitals under the comprehensive care for joint replacement model? Health Serv Res 2020 Aug;55(4):541-47. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.13313..
Keywords: Healthcare Systems, Hospitals, Orthopedics, Value, Healthcare Costs, Payment, Quality of Care
Fisher ES, Shortell SM, O'Malley AJ
Financial integration's impact on care delivery and payment reforms: a survey of hospitals and physician practices. Health Aff 2020 Aug;39(8):1302-11. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2019.01813.
This study looked at whether financial integration of hospitals and physician practices was associated with greater quality. A total of 739 hospitals and 2,189 physician practices were included in the nationally representative survey. They were stratified by whether they were independent or owned by complex systems, simple systems, or medical groups. Nine scales were used to measure the level of adoption of diverse, quality-focused care delivery and payment reforms. While quality scores favored financially integrated systems for 4 of 9 hospital measures and one of 9 practice measures, none of them favored complex systems. Better quality was generally not associated with greater financial integration.
AHRQ-funded; U19 HS024075.
Citation: Fisher ES, Shortell SM, O'Malley AJ . Financial integration's impact on care delivery and payment reforms: a survey of hospitals and physician practices. Health Aff 2020 Aug;39(8):1302-11. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2019.01813. Health Aff 2020 Aug;39(8):1302-11. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2019.01813..
Keywords: Healthcare Delivery, Payment, Hospitals, Healthcare Systems, Quality of Care
Rhee TG, Wilkinson ST
Exploring the psychiatrist-industry financial relationship: insight from the open payment data of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The Physician Payments Sunshine Act (PPSA) requires reporting of financial payments by pharmaceutical and medical device companies to teaching hospitals and individual physicians in the United States. In this study, industry payments made to psychiatrists were quantified. The investigators found that over half of active psychiatrists (55.7%) received some form of payments from pharmaceutical manufacturers.
Citation: Rhee TG, Wilkinson ST . Exploring the psychiatrist-industry financial relationship: insight from the open payment data of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Adm Policy Ment Health 2020 Jul;47(4):526-30. doi: 10.1007/s10488-020-01009-2.
Keywords: Provider: Physician, Provider, Behavioral Health, Payment, Policy
Mroz TM, Patterson DG, Frogner BK
The impact of Medicare's rural add-on payments on supply of home health agencies serving rural counties.
This analysis looked at the impact of Medicare’s rural add-on payments on supply of home health agencies serving rural counties. The authors used data from Home Health Compare. The results suggest that while supply changes are similar in rural counties adjacent to urban areas and urban counties regardless of add-on payments, only higher add-payments of 5 to 10 percent to rural counties keep them on pace with those in urban counties.
Citation: Mroz TM, Patterson DG, Frogner BK . The impact of Medicare's rural add-on payments on supply of home health agencies serving rural counties. Health Aff 2020 Jun;39(6):949-57. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2019.00952..
Keywords: Elderly, Medicare, Home Healthcare, Rural Health, Payment, Access to Care
He D, McHenry P, Mellor JM
Do financial incentives matter? Effects of Medicare price shocks on skilled nursing facility care.
The authors provided new evidence on how Medicare payment changes affect the amount of skilled nursing facility (SNF) care provided to Medicare patients. They found that increases in Medicare payment rates to SNFs increased the total number of Medicare resident days at SNFs. Further, the effects were asymmetric; although Medicare payment increases affected Medicare days, payment decreases did not. They conclude that their results have important implications for policies that alter the Medicare base payment rates to SNFs and other health care providers.
Citation: He D, McHenry P, Mellor JM . Do financial incentives matter? Effects of Medicare price shocks on skilled nursing facility care. Health Econ 2020 Jun;29(6):655-70. doi: 10.1002/hec.4009..
Keywords: Medicare, Nursing Homes, Elderly, Payment, Healthcare Costs