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Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR

Marah Noel Short, Vivian Ho
Provider organizations are increasing in complexity, as hospitals acquire physician practices and physician organizations grow in size. At the same time, hospitals are merging with each other to improve bargaining power with insurers. We analyze 29 quality measures reported to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Hospital Compare database for 2008 to 2015 to test whether vertical integration between hospitals and physicians or increases in hospital market concentration influence patient outcomes. Vertical integration has a limited effect on a small subset of quality measures...
February 9, 2019: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
Allison Squires, Laura Ridge, Sarah Miner, Margaret V McDonald, Sherry A Greenberg, Tara Cortes
A primary service provided by home care is medication management. Issues with medication management at home place older adults at high risk for hospital admission, readmission, and adverse events. This study sought to understand medication management challenges from the home care provider perspective. A qualitative secondary data analysis approach was used to analyze program evaluation interview data from an interprofessional educational intervention study designed to decrease medication complexity in older urban adults receiving home care...
February 7, 2019: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
Richard C van Kleef, Frank Eijkenaar, René C J A van Vliet
This article analyzes selection incentives for insurers in the Dutch basic health insurance market, which operates with community-rated premiums and sophisticated risk adjustment. Selection incentives result from the interplay of three market characteristics: possible actions by insurers, consumer response to these actions, and predictable variation in profitability of insurance contracts. After a qualitative analysis of the first two characteristics our primary objective is to identify the third. Using a combination of claims data ( N = 16...
February 1, 2019: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
Michael F Furukawa, Rachel M Machta, Kirsten A Barrett, David J Jones, Stephen M Shortell, Dennis P Scanlon, Valerie A Lewis, A James O'Malley, Ellen R Meara, Eugene C Rich
Despite the prevalence of vertical integration, data and research focused on identifying and describing health systems are sparse. Until recently, we lacked an enumeration of health systems and an understanding of how systems vary by key structural attributes. To fill this gap, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality developed the Compendium of U.S. Health Systems, a data resource to support research on comparative health system performance. In this article, we describe the methods used to create the Compendium and present a picture of vertical integration in the United States...
January 23, 2019: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
Peter May, Melissa M Garrido, Egidio Del Fabbro, Danielle Noreika, Charles Normand, Nevena Skoro, J Brian Cassel
Hospital readmission rate is a ubiquitous measure of efficiency and quality. Individuals with life-limiting illnesses account heavily for admissions but evaluation is complicated by high-mortality rates. We report a retrospective cohort study examining the association between palliative care (PC) and readmissions while controlling for postdischarge mortality with a competing risks approach. Eligible participants were adult inpatients admitted to an academic, safety-net medical center (2009-2015) with at least one diagnosis of cancer, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, liver failure, kidney failure, AIDS/HIV, and selected neurodegenerative conditions...
January 18, 2019: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
Rachel Mosher Henke, Zeynal Karaca, Teresa B Gibson, Eli Cutler, Chapin White, Michael Head, Herb S Wong
Some states have adopted Accountable Care Organization (ACO) models to transform their Medicaid programs, but little is known about their impact on health care outcomes and costs. Medicaid ACOs are uniquely positioned to improve childbirth outcomes because of the number of births covered by Medicaid. Using Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project hospital data, we examined the relationship between ACO adoption and (a) neonatal and maternal outcomes, and (b) cost per birth. We compared outcomes in states that have adopted ACO models in their Medicaid programs with adjacent states without ACO models...
January 7, 2019: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
Nerissa George, Rachel Grant, Aimee James, Nageen Mir, Mary C Politi
This qualitative study explored cancer survivors' experiences selecting and using health insurance and anticipating out-of-pocket care costs. Thirty individuals participated in semistructured interviews. On average, participants were 54 years ( SD ± 8.85, range 34-80) and diagnosed with cancer about 5 years prior (range 0.5-10 years). About 57% were female, 77% were non-Hispanic White, and 53% had less than a college education. Participants struggled to access information about health insurance and costs. Lack of cost transparency made it difficult to anticipate expenses and increased anxiety...
December 20, 2018: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
Jordan Everson, Julia Adler-Milstein, Andrew M Ryan, John M Hollingsworth
The strategies that hospitals participating in Medicare Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) use to achieve quality and cost containment goals are poorly understood. One possibility is that participating hospitals could try to influence where their patients receive care. To test this hypothesis, we examined whether a hospital's participation in a Medicare ACO was associated with changes in its patterns of patient sharing with other hospitals. Between 2010 and 2014, patient sharing across hospitals increased 23...
December 13, 2018: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
Jo E Rodgers, Emily M Thudium, Hadi Beyhaghi, Carla A Sueta, Khalid A Alburikan, Anna M Kucharska-Newton, Patricia P Chang, Sally C Stearns
The aging population routinely has comorbid conditions requiring complicated medication regimens, yet nonadherence can preclude optimal outcomes. This study explored the association of adherence in the elderly with demographic, socioeconomic, and disease burden measures. Data were from the fifth visit (2011-2013) for 6,538 participants in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, conducted in four communities. The Morisky-Green-Levine Scale measured self-reported adherence. Forty percent of respondents indicated some nonadherence, primarily due to poor memory...
December 2018: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
Laurence C Baker, Michael Pesko, Patricia Ramsay, Lawrence P Casalino, Stephen M Shortell
Physician practices have been growing in size, and becoming more commonly owned by hospitals, over time. We use survey data on physician practices surveyed at two points in time, linked to Medicare claims data, to investigate whether changes in practice size or ownership are associated with changes in the use of care management, health information technology (HIT), or quality improvement processes. We find that practice growth and becoming hospital-owned are associated with adoption of more quality improvement processes, but not with care management or HIT...
November 22, 2018: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
Susan M Skillman, Arati Dahal, Bianca K Frogner, C Holly A Andrilla
Medical assistants (MAs) are a rapidly growing and increasingly important workforce. High MA turnover, however, is common and employers report applicants frequently do not meet their needs. We collected survey responses from a representative sample of 3,355 of Washington's MAs with certified status (MA-Cs) to understand their demographic, education, and employment backgrounds; job satisfaction; and career plans. Descriptive analyses showed 93.0% were female with a $19.91 mean hourly wage, and while generally satisfied, 56...
November 17, 2018: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
Weiwei Chen, Timothy F Page
High-deductible health plans (HDHPs) have become increasingly prevalent among employer-sponsored health plans and plans offered through the Health Insurance Marketplace in the United States. This study examined the impact of deductible levels on health care experiences in terms of care access, affordability, routine checkup, out-of-pocket cost, and satisfaction using data from the Health Reform Monitoring Survey. The study also tested whether the experiences of Marketplace enrollees differed from off-Marketplace individuals, controlling for deductible levels...
November 7, 2018: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
Lauren Hersch Nicholas, Shannon Wu
The majority of Medicare Advantage (MA) plans receive payments that exceed their costs of providing basic Medicare benefits. There is controversy about whether these payments are passed on to the enrollees as supplemental benefits or are retained by plans. We used survey data on MA beneficiaries' actual out-of-pocket (OOP) spending linked to MA payment information to test whether higher plan payments and rebates lowered enrollee OOP spending. We used instrumental variables regression models to address concerns that plan payments and rebates may reflect anticipation of enrollees with particular health-spending profiles...
November 1, 2018: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
Eileen T Lake, Douglas O Staiger, Emily Cramer, Linda A Hatfield, Jessica G Smith, Beatrice J Kalisch, Jeannette A Rogowski
The health outcomes of infants in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) may be jeopardized when required nursing care is missed. This correlational study of missed care in a U.S. NICU sample adds national scope and an important explanatory variable, patient acuity. Using 2016 NICU registered nurse survey responses ( N = 5,861) from the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators, we found that 36% of nurses missed one or more care activities on the past shift. Missed care prevalence varied widely across units...
October 26, 2018: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
Hyunjung Lee, Frank W Porell
Before the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion, nonelderly childless adults were not generally eligible for Medicaid regardless of their income, and Hispanics had much higher uninsured rates than other racial/ethnic subgroups. We estimated difference-in-differences models on Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance data (2011-2016) to estimate the impacts of Medicaid expansion on racial/ethnic disparities in insurance coverage, access to care, and health status in this vulnerable subpopulation. Uninsured rates among all poor childless adults declined by roughly 9 percentage points more in states that expanded Medicaid...
October 26, 2018: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
Aig Unuigbe
The Affordable Care Act has put in place policies to gradually close the Medicare Part D coverage gap (donut hole). I examine the effect of this gradual closure on total and out-of-pocket prescription drug expenditures, as well as the number of prescriptions filled. The analysis shows a general increase in prescription use. There are also heterogeneous effects, with higher total expenditure groups seeing a decrease in their out-of-pocket prescription expenditures. This suggests that closure of the "donut hole" has led to an increase in prescription use that was previously curtailed and had an impact on the financial risk faced by Medicare recipients...
October 18, 2018: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
Brian K Finch, Ann Haas, Amelia M Haviland, Jacob W Dembosky, Sarah Gaillot, Marc N Elliott
While lower educational attainment is associated with worse health status, education may also affect one's ability to identify need for urgent care. Using data from the 2010 Medicare CAHPS survey, we estimated multivariate logistic models to test the relationship between self-reported educational attainment and the perceived need for urgent care, controlling for health status and other factors. As expected, lower educational attainment was associated with greater reported need for urgent care in bivariate analyses because of poorer health...
October 8, 2018: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
Mark Schlesinger, Rachel Grob, Dale Shaller, Steven C Martino, Andrew M Parker, Lise Rybowski, Melissa L Finucane, Jennifer L Cerully
Patient narratives have emerged as promising vehicles for making health care more responsive by helping clinicians to better understand their patients' expectations, perceptions, or concerns and encouraging consumers to engage with information about quality. A growing number of websites incorporate patients' comments. But existing comments have fragmentary content, fail to represent less vocal patients, and can be manipulated to "manage" providers' reputations. In this article, we offer the first empirical test of the proposition that patient narratives can be elicited rigorously and reliably using a five-question protocol that can be incorporated into large-scale patient experience surveys...
October 6, 2018: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
Jeffrey Swanson, William G Weissert
Case management programs often designate a nurse or social worker to take responsibility for guiding care when patients are expected to be expensive or risk a major decline. We hypothesized that though an intuitively appealing idea, careful program design and faithful implementation are essential if case management programs are to succeed. We employed two theory perspectives, principal-agent framework and street-level bureaucratic theory to describe the relationship between program designers (principals) and case managers (agents/street-level bureaucrats) to review 65 case management studies...
October 2018: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
Renuka Tipirneni, Karin V Rhodes, Rodney A Hayward, Richard L Lichtenstein, HwaJung Choi, Emily K Arntson, Jessica M Landgraf, Matthew M Davis
Coverage and access have improved under the Affordable Care Act, yet it is unclear whether recent gains have reached those regions within states that were most in need of improved access to care. We examined geographic variation in Medicaid acceptance among Michigan primary care practices before and after Medicaid expansion in the state, using data from a simulated patient study of primary care practices. We used logistic regression analysis with time indicators to assess regional changes in Medicaid acceptance over time...
October 2018: Medical Care Research and Review: MCRR
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