Medicare

The federal program that covers medical care for people age 65 or older, younger people with disabilities, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease. Medicare covers about 13% of the US population and makes up a fifth of national health expenditures.

Comparing the contributions of acute and post acute care facility characteristics to outcomes after hospitalization for hip fracture

Jan. 2, 2017

Neuman, Mark D.; Silber, Jeffrey H.; Passarella, Molly R.; Werner, Rachel M.

In Medical Care, LDI Senior Fellows Mark Neuman, Jeffrey Silber and Rachel Werner and colleagues quantify the contribution of acute versus post acute care factors to survival and functional outcomes after hip fracture. This retrospective cohort study was conducted using Medicare data from previously ambulatory nursing home residents hospitalized for hip fracture between 2005 and 2009. The authors measured the associations of hospital and nursing home factors with functional and survival outcomes at 30 and 180 days among patients discharged to a nursing facility,...

The Anticipatory Effects of Medicare Part D on Drug Utilization

Dec. 1, 2016

Abby Alpert

In the Journal of Health Economics, Abby Alpert examines anticipation effects of Medicare Part D, which went into effect two years after it was signed into law. This potentially gave forward-looking individuals time to change their drug consumption behavior in anticipation of future subsidized drug coverage. This approach contrasts with prior studies of Part D, which do not take the possibility of behavioral responses to the announcement into consideration, thus...

A Synchronized Prescription Refill Program Improved Medication Adherence

Aug. 5, 2016

Jalpa A. Doshi, Raymond Lim, Pengxiang Li, Peinie P. Young, Victor F. Lawnicki, Joseph J. State, Andrea B. Troxel, and Kevin G. Volpp

In Health Affairs, Jalpa Doshi and colleagues, including Pengxiang Lee, Andrea Troxel and Kevin Volpp, evaluate whether renewing all medications at the same time from the same pharmacy improves adherence to medication regimens. Synchronizing medication refills is an increasingly popular strategy, but there has been little research regarding its effectiveness. The authors looked at a pilot refill synchronization program implemented by Humana, a large national insurer, and analyzed patients’ adherence before and after participation in the program, compared to a control group. The...

Accounting for Social Risk Factors in Medicare Payment: Third National Report

Jul. 19, 2016

How should social risk factors enter into Medicare’s value-based payments to hospitals? The answer goes beyond an arcane discussion of payment policy; it has a direct impact on hospital bottom lines and the quality of care provided to underserved communities.  A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine—the third in a series of five—lays out criteria and methods to account for social risk factors in Medicare payment.  

Impact of Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plan Star Ratings on Enrollment Before and After Implementation of Quality-Related Bonus Payments in 2012

Research Brief
Jun. 10, 2016

In PLOS ONE, LDI Senior Fellows Pengxiang Li and Jalpa Doshi examine the impact of the Medicare Advantage Presciption Drug Plan star ratings before and after 2012, when they became tied to bonus payments. Does an increase in a plan’s star rating have a direct impact on concurrent year plan enrollment? What’s the indirect impact (via bonus payments) of star ratings on subsequent year plan enrollment?

Detecting Potential Overbilling in Medicare Reimbursement via Hours Worked

Research Brief
Apr. 18, 2016

Overbilling for physician services under Medicare Part B has long been a concern, as some estimates show that fraudulent “upcoding” or “overcharging” might have cost the program tens of billions of dollars per year. Existing methods to detect the prevalence and financial cost of overbilling have various limitations, so the authors developed a novel approach: create estimates of actual hours worked as implied by the medical service codes that providers submit to Medicare. In an NBER Working Paper, LDI Senior Fellow Hanming Fang and co-author Qing Gong examine whether this method can generate a quicker and more robust estimation of overbilling across medical specialties and geographic areas.

High Cost Sharing and Specialty Drug Initiation Under Medicare Part D: A Case Study in Patients With Newly Diagnosed Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

Research Brief
Apr. 1, 2016

Does high cost sharing in Medicare Part D drug plans affect whether and how quickly patients initiate a recommended and life-extending drug treatment? In American Journal of Managed Care, LDI Senior Fellows Jalpa Doshi, Pengxiang Li and colleagues assess whether Medicare patients newly diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and subject to significant coinsurance, take longer to initiate tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) treatment than low-income (subsidized) Medicare patients subject to a nominal copayment. 

Biologic therapy adherence, discontinuation, switching, and restarting among patients with psoriasis in the US Medicare population

Mar. 22, 2016

Jalpa Doshi, Junko Takeshita, Lionel Pinto, Penxiang Li, Xinyan Yu, Preethi Rao, Hema N. Viswanathan, Joel M. Gelfand

In the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Jalpa Doshi and colleagues, including Penxiang Li and Preethi Rao, investigate real-world utilization patterns of biologic therapy in Medicare beneficiaries with psoriasis. Studies indicate low adherence to biologics among patients with psoriasis, yet little is known about the adherence level in the Medicare population. Using data from the Medicare Chronic Condition Data Warehouse Part A, B, and D files with 12-month follow-up after index prescription, Doshi and colleagues conducted a retrospective claims analysis on 2707...

Nurse staffing and the work environment linked to readmissions among older adults following elective total hip and knee replacement

Mar. 14, 2016

Karen Lasater, Matthew McHugh

In the International Journal for Quality in Health Care, Karen Lasater and Matthew McHugh examine the effect of nurse staffing and the work environment on 10- and 30-day unplanned readmissions for Medicare patients following elective total hip and knee replacement. The authors conducted a cross-sectional secondary data analysis using patient administrative data, nurse survey data, and hospital organizational data from acute care hospitals in California, Florida, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Nurse survey responses were aggregated to construct hospital measures of nurse staffing and...

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