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.

Association of Patient Out-of-Pocket Costs With Prescription Abandonment and Delay in Fills of Novel Oral Anticancer Agents

Research Brief
Jan. 19, 2018

High out-of-pocket (OOP) costs may limit access to novel oral cancer medications. In a retrospective study, nearly one third of patients whose OOP costs were $100 to $500 and nearly half of patients whose OOP costs were more than $2,000 failed to pick up their new prescription for an oral cancer medication, compared to 10% of patients who were required to pay less than $10 at the time of purchase. Delays in picking up prescriptions were also more frequent among patients facing higher OOP costs. 

Association of high cost sharing and targeted therapy initiation among elderly Medicare patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma

Dec. 12, 2017

Pengxiang (Alex) Li, Yu-Ning Wong, Jordan Jahnke, Amy R. Pettit, and Jalpa A. Doshi

In Cancer Medicine, Pengxiang (Alex) Li and colleagues, including Jalpa Doshi, explore whether high out-of-pocket costs limit access to oral therapies for Medicare patients newly diagnosed with metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Using 2011–2013 Medicare claims, the investigators identified 1,721 patients newly diagnosed with metastases in the liver, lung, or bone. They compared low-income Medicare Part D beneficiaries (who had low out-of-pocket costs due to...

Reimagining the Future of Medicare Across the Care Continuum

Oct. 30, 2017

Reforming Medicare to protect the health of an aging and vulnerable population is a pressing policy concern. To share some perspective, Dr. Mary Naylor led a panel entitled “Shaping the Future of Medicare” at Penn LDI’s 50th Anniversary Symposium.

The panelists addressed several core themes, including cost-effective personal care in the home, end-of-life care, Medicare payment reforms, and reimagining care for families of an aging population.

Association Between Hospital Participation in a Medicare Bundled Payment Initiative and Payments and Quality Outcomes for Lower Extremity Joint Replacement Episodes

Jun. 29, 2017

Laura A. Dummit, Daver Kahvecioglu, Grecia Marrufo, Rahul Rajkumar, Jaclyn Marshall, Eleonora Tan, Matthew J. Press, Shannon Flood, L. Daniel Muldoon, Qian Gu, Andrea Hassol, David M. Bott, Amy Bassano, Patrick H. Conway

In JAMA, Laura Dummit and colleagues, including Matthew Press, evaluate whether a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) bundled payment pilot program is associated with a reduction in Medicare payments. Specifically, the authors assess if Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) reduced Medicare payments and maintained quality in lower extremity joint replacement. This CMS program was launched in 2013 to test whether linking payments for services provided during an episode of care can reduce Medicare payments and maintain quality. The authors used a difference-in-...

Effects of the ACA on Health Care Cost Containment

Issue Brief
Mar. 2, 2017

This brief reviews the evidence on how key ACA provisions have affected the growth of health care costs. Coverage expansions produced a predictable jump in health care spending, amidst a slowdown that began a decade ago. Although we have not returned to the double-digit increases of the past, the authors find little evidence that ACA cost containment provisions produced changes necessary to “bend the cost curve.” Cost control will likely play a prominent role in the next round of health reform and will be critical to sustaining coverage gains in the long term.

New Study Details Savings from Bundled Payments

Jan. 13, 2017

This is the way it is supposed to work. You develop policy and processes to drive innovation. You design and test innovative ideas in a small, efficient way. You learn and adapt. Successful innovation drives new policy. Rinse and repeat.

And this is the way it appears to have worked, in the case of Medicare bundled payment. Start small with a pilot. Expand in reach and scope if promising. Scale up if successful.

Cost of Joint Replacement Using Bundled Payment Models

Research Brief
Amol Navathe, MD, PhD
Jan. 6, 2017

Evidence on the effects of bundled payment is more important than ever, while hospitals already in Medicare bundled payment programs need guidance in redesigning care. This observational study looks at whether bundled payment for joint replacement affected quality, hospital costs and post-acute care spending in a health system that was an early adopter of the model. Did the bundles save money, and if so, what produced those savings?

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