Multimethod evaluation of health policy change: an application to Medicaid managed care in a rural state.
ABSTRACT: To answer questions about the impacts of Medicaid managed care (MMC) at the individual, organizational/community, and population levels of analysis.Multimethod approach to study MMC in New Mexico, a rural state with challenging access barriers.Individual level: surveys to assess barriers to care, access, utilization, and satisfaction. Organizational/community level: ethnography to determine changes experienced by safety net institutions and local communities. Population level: analysis of secondary databases to examine trends in preventable adverse sentinel events.multivariate statistical methods, including factor analysis and logistic regression. Ethnography: iterative coding and triangulation to assess documents, field observations, and in-depth interviews. Secondary databases: plots of sentinel events over time.The survey component revealed no consistent changes after MMC, relatively favorable experiences for Medicaid patients, and persisting access barriers for the uninsured. In the ethnographic component, safety net institutions experienced increased workload and financial stress; mental health services declined sharply. Immunization rate, as an important sentinel event, deteriorated.MMC exerted greater effects on safety net providers than on individuals and did not address problems of the uninsured. A multimethod approach can facilitate evaluation of change in health policy.
Project description:National patterns of low-value and high-value care delivered to patients without insurance or with Medicaid could inform public policy but have not been previously examined.To measure rates of low-value care and high-value care received by patients without insurance or with Medicaid, compared with privately insured patients, and provided by safety-net physicians vs non-safety-net physicians.This multiyear cross-sectional observational study included all patients ages 18 to 64 years from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (2005-2013) and the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (2005-2011) eligible for any of the 21 previously defined low-value or high-value care measures. All measures were analyzed with multivariable logistic regression and adjusted for patient and physician characteristics.Comparison of patients by insurance status (uninsured/Medicaid vs privately insured) and safety-net physicians (seeing >25% uninsured/Medicaid patients) vs non-safety-net physicians (seeing 1%-10%).Delivery of 9 low-value or 12 high-value care measures, based on previous research definitions, and composite measures for any high-value or low-value care delivery during an office visit.Overall, 193?062 office visits were eligible for at least 1 measure. Mean (95% CI) age for privately insured patients (n?=?94?707) was 44.7 (44.5-44.9) years; patients on Medicaid (n?=?45?123), 39.8 (39.3-40.3) years; and uninsured patients (n?=?19?530), 41.9 (41.5-42.4) years. Overall, low-value and high-value care was delivered in 19.4% (95% CI, 18.5%-20.2%) and 33.4% (95% CI, 32.4%-34.3%) of eligible encounters, respectively. Rates of low-value and high-value care delivery were similar across insurance types for the majority of services examined. Among Medicaid patients, adjusted rates of use were no different for 6 of 9 low-value and 9 of 12 high-value services compared with privately insured beneficiaries, whereas among the uninsured, rates were no different for 7 of 9 low-value and 9 of 12 high-value services. Safety-net physicians provided similar care compared with non-safety-net physicians, with no difference for 8 out of 9 low-value and for all 12 high-value services.Overuse of low-value care is common among patients without insurance or with Medicaid. Rates of low-value and high-value care were similar among physicians serving vulnerable patients and other physicians. Overuse of low-value care is a potentially important focus for state Medicaid programs and safety-net institutions to pursue cost savings and improved quality of health care delivery.
Project description:BACKGROUND:While improved access to safety net primary care providers, like federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), is often cited as a route to alleviate potentially preventable emergency department (ED) visits, no studies have longitudinally established the impact of improving access to FQHCs on ED use among Medicaid-insured and uninsured adults. We aimed to determine whether improved access to FQHCs was associated with lower ED use by uninsured and Medicaid-insured adults. METHODS:Using data from the Uniform Data System, U.S. Census Bureau, and California Office of Statewide Health Planning & Development, we conducted a longitudinal analysis of 58 California counties from 2005 to 2013. For each county-year observation, we employed three measures of FQHC access: geographic density of FQHCs (delivery sites per 100 square miles), FQHCs per county resident (delivery sites per 100,000 county residents), and the proportion of Medicaid-insured or uninsured residents ages 19 to 64 years that utilized FQHCs. We then used a fixed-effects model to examine the impact of changes in the measures of FQHC access on ED visit rates by Medicaid-insured or uninsured adults in each county. RESULTS:Increasing geographic density of FQHCs was associated with a 26% to 35% decrease in ED use by uninsured but not Medicaid-insured patients. Increasing numbers of clinics per county resident and higher percentages of Medicaid-insured and uninsured adults seen at FQHCs were not associated with reduced rates of ED use among either uninsured or Medicaid-insured adults. CONCLUSIONS:We were unable to detect a consistent association between our measures of FQHC access and ED use by Medicaid-insured and uninsured nonelderly California adults, underscoring the importance of investigating additional drivers to reduce ED use among these vulnerable patient populations.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Many uninsured people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) will obtain managed health insurance coverage when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is implemented in January 2014. Since 2011, California has transitioned PLWHA to Medicaid managed care (MMC) and to the Low-Income Health Program (LIHP). OBJECTIVES:To draw lessons for the ACA implementation from the transitions into MMC and the LIHP. METHODS:Surveys about clients and services provided before and after the transition to MMC and the LIHP were sent to 43 HIV service providers. Usable responses were obtained from 18 (42%). RESULTS:Although total client loads were similar in the pre- (January 2011) and posttransition periods (June 2012), many clients transitioned from fee-for-service (FFS) Medicaid to MMC. Over this period, responding agencies served 43.5% fewer PLWHA in FFS Medicaid, whereas the share of PLWHA covered by MMC rose from 16.9% to 55.5%. Managed care covered a smaller number of services than either FFS Medicaid or Ryan White sites. Ryan White providers reported that 53% of the clients they served in January 2011 had transitioned to the LIHPs. Nonetheless, they continued to provide services to many of these clients, and Ryan White caseloads did not decline. CONCLUSIONS:PLWHA enrolled in the MMC continue to depend on Ryan White sites to supply the full range of services that will allow them to take full advantage of increased access to care under ACA.
Project description:To examine the effect of the recession on the financial performance of safety-net versus non-safety-net hospitals.Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Hospital Cost and Utilization Project State Inpatient Databases, Medicare Cost Reports, American Hospital Association Annual Survey, InterStudy, and Area Health Resource File.Retrospective, longitudinal panel of hospitals, 2007-2011. Safety-net hospitals were identified using percentage of patients who were Medicaid or uninsured. Generalized estimating equations were used to estimate average effects of the recession on hospital operating and total margins, revenues and expenses in each year, 2008-2011, comparing safety-net with non-safety-net hospitals.1,453 urban, nonfederal, general acute hospitals in 32 states with complete data.Safety-net hospitals, as identified in 2007, had lower operating and total margins. The gap in operating margin between safety-net and non-safety-net hospitals was sustained throughout the recession; however, total margin was more negatively affected for non-safety-net hospitals in 2008. Higher percentages of Medicaid and uninsured patients were associated with lower revenue in private hospitals in all years, and lower revenue and expenses in public hospitals in 2011.Safety-net hospitals may not be disproportionately vulnerable to macro-economic fluctuations, but their significantly lower margins leave less financial cushion to weather sustained financial pressure.
Project description:To examine the effects of safety net hospital (SNH) closure and for-profit conversion on uninsured, Medicaid, and racial/ethnic minorities. DATA SOURCES/EXTRACTION METHODS: Hospital discharge data for selected states merged with other sources.We examined travel distance for patients treated in urban hospitals for five diagnosis categories: ambulatory care sensitive conditions, referral sensitive conditions, marker conditions, births, and mental health and substance abuse. We assess how travel was affected for patients after SNH events. Our multivariate models controlled for patient, hospital, health system, and neighborhood characteristics.Our results suggested that certain groups of uninsured and Medicaid patients experienced greater disruption in patterns of care, especially Hispanic uninsured and Medicaid women hospitalized for births. In addition, relative to privately insured individuals in SNH event communities, greater travel for mental health and substance abuse care was present for the uninsured.Closure or for-profit conversions of SNHs appear to have detrimental access effects on particular subgroups of disadvantaged populations, although our results are somewhat inconclusive due to potential power issues. Policy makers may need to pay special attention to these patient subgroups and also to easing transportation barriers when dealing with disruptions resulting from reductions in SNH resources.
Project description:OBJECTIVE: To determine whether safety net and non-safety net hospitals influence inpatient breast cancer care in insured and uninsured women and in white and African American women. DATA SOURCES: Six years of Virginia Cancer Registry and Virginia Health Information discharge data were linked and supplemented with American Hospital Association data. STUDY DESIGN: Hierarchical generalized linear models and linear probability regression models were used to estimate the relationship between hospital safety net status, the explanatory variables, and the days from diagnosis to mastectomy and the likelihood of breast reconstruction. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The time between diagnosis and surgery was longer in safety net hospitals for all patients, regardless of insurance source. Medicaid insured and uninsured women were approximately 20 percent less likely to receive reconstruction than privately insured women. African American women were less likely to receive reconstruction than white women. CONCLUSIONS: Following the implementation of health reform, disparities may potentially worsen if safety net hospitals' burden of care increases without commensurate increases in reimbursement and staffing levels. This study also suggests that Medicaid expansions may not improve outcomes in inpatient breast cancer care within the safety net system.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To examine the impact of the Affordable Care Act's coverage expansion on safety-net hospitals (SNHs). STUDY SETTING:Nine Medicaid expansion states. STUDY DESIGN:Differences-in-differences (DID) models compare payer-specific pre-post changes in inpatient stays of adults aged 19-64 years at SNHs and non-SNHs. DATA COLLECTION METHODS:2013-2014 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project State Inpatient Databases. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:On average per quarter postexpansion, SNHs and non-SNHs experienced similar relative decreases in uninsured stays (DID = -2.2 percent, p = .916). Non-SNHs experienced a greater percentage increase in Medicaid stays than did SNHs (DID = 13.8 percent, p = .041). For SNHs, the average decrease in uninsured stays (-146) was similar to the increase in Medicaid stays (153); privately insured stays were stable. For non-SNHs, the decrease in uninsured (-63) plus privately insured (-33) stays was similar to the increase in Medicaid stays (105). SNHs and non-SNHs experienced a similar absolute increase in Medicaid, uninsured, and privately insured stays combined (DID = -16, p = .162). CONCLUSIONS:Postexpansion, non-SNHs experienced a greater percentage increase in Medicaid stays than did SNHs, which may reflect patients choosing non-SNHs over SNHs or a crowd-out of private insurance. More research is needed to understand these trends.
Project description:OBJECTIVE: To examine the effects of policy, health system, and sociodemographic characteristics on the likelihood that uninsured persons pay a lower price at their regular source of care, or that they are aware of lower priced providers in their community. DATA SOURCES: The 2003 Community Tracking Study household survey, a nationally representative sample of the U.S. population and 60 randomly selected communities. STUDY DESIGN: The survey asked uninsured persons if they paid full or reduced cost at their usual source of medical care, or if they were aware of providers in their community that charge less for uninsured people. We use binomial and multinomial logistic regression analysis to examine the effects of various policy, health system, and sociodemographic characteristics on use and awareness of lower priced providers. We focus especially on the effects of safety-net capacity, measured by safety-net hospitals, community health centers, physicians' charity care, and Community Access Program (CAP) grants. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Less than half of the uninsured (47.5 percent) reported that they used or were aware of a lower priced provider in their community. Multivariate regression analysis shows that greater safety-net capacity is associated with a higher likelihood of having a lower priced provider as the regular source of care and greater awareness of lower priced providers. Lower incomes and racial/ethnic minorities also had a higher likelihood of having a lower priced provider, although health status did not have statistically significant effects. CONCLUSION: Although increased safety-net capacity may lead to more uninsured having a lower priced provider, many uninsured who live near safety-net providers are not aware of their presence. Greater outreach designed to increase awareness may be needed in order to increase the effectiveness of safety-net providers in improving access to care for the uninsured.
Project description:Safety-net hospitals rely on disproportionate-share hospital (DSH) payments to help cover uncompensated care costs and underpayments by Medicaid (known as Medicaid shortfalls). The Affordable Care Act (ACA) anticipates that insurance expansion will increase safety-net hospitals' revenues and will reduce DSH payments accordingly. We examined the impact of the ACA's Medicaid DSH reductions on California public hospitals' financial stability by estimating how total DSH costs (uncompensated care costs and Medicaid shortfalls) will change as a result of insurance expansion and the offsetting DSH reductions. Decreases in uncompensated care costs resulting from the ACA insurance expansion may not match the act's DSH reductions because of the high number of people who will remain uninsured, low Medicaid reimbursement rates, and medical cost inflation. Taking these three factors into account, we estimate that California public hospitals' total DSH costs will increase from $2.044 billion in 2010 to $2.363-$2.503 billion in 2019, with unmet DSH costs of $1.381-$1.537 billion.
Project description:This study is the first to examine primary care physician (PCP) density relative to the uninsured at the local level prior to and after insurance expansion under the Affordable Care Act. Primary care physician density is associated with access to care, lower inpatient and emergency care, and primary care services. However, access to primary care among the uninsured may be limited due to inadequate availability of PCPs. Core-Based Statistical Area (CBSA) data from the Area Health Resource File were retrospectively examined before and after Medicaid expansion. Multiple logistic regressions were modeled for PCP density with predictor interaction effects for percentage uninsured, Medicaid expansion status, and US Census regions. Medicaid expansion CBSAs had significantly lower proportions of uninsured and higher PCP density compared with their nonexpansion counterparts. Nationally, increasing proportions of the uninsured were significantly associated with decreasing PCP density. Most notably, there is an expected 32% lower PCP density in Western Medicaid expansion areas with many uninsured (90th percentile) compared with those with few uninsured (10th percentile). Areas expanding Medicaid with greater proportions of people becoming insured postexpansion had significantly fewer PCPs. Areas with greater proportions of the uninsured may have reduced access to primary care due to the paucity of PCPs in these areas. Efforts to improve access should consider a lack of local PCPs as a limitation for ensuring accessible and timely care. Health care and policy leaders should focus on answers to improve the local availability of primary care clinicians in underserved communities.