Impact of insurance carrier, prior authorization, and socioeconomic status on appropriate use of SPECT myocardial perfusion imaging in private community-based office practice.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:The impact of health insurance carrier and socioeconomic status (SES) on the adherence to appropriate use criteria (AUC) for radionuclide myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) is unknown. HYPOTHESIS:Health insurance carrier's prior authorization and patient's SES impact adherence to AUC for MPI in a fee-for-service setting. METHODS:We conducted a prospective cohort study of 1511 consecutive patients who underwent outpatient MPI in a multi-site, office-based, fee-for-service setting. The patients were stratified according to the 2009 AUC into appropriate/uncertain appropriateness and inappropriate use groups. Insurance status was categorized as Medicare (does not require prior authorization) vs commercial (requires prior authorization). Socioeconomic status was determined by the median household income in the ZIP code of residence. RESULTS:The proportion of patients with Medicare was 33% vs 67% with commercial insurance. The rate of inappropriate use was higher among patients with commercial insurance vs Medicare (55% vs 24%; P < 0.001); this difference was not significant after adjusting for confounders known to impact AUC determination (odds ratio: 1.06, 95% confidence interval: 0.62-1.82, P = 0.82). The mean annual household income in the residential areas of patients with inappropriate use as compared to those with appropriate/uncertain use was $72 000 ± 21 000 vs $68 000 ± 20 000, respectively (P < 0.001). After adjusting for covariates known to impact AUC determination, SES (top vs bottom quartile income area) was not independently predictive of inappropriate MPI use (odds ratio: 0.9, 95% confidence interval: 0.53-1.52, P = 0.69). CONCLUSIONS:Insurance carriers prior authorization and SES do not seem to play a significant role in determining physicians adherence to AUC for MPI.
Project description:The relationship between inappropriate MPI and cardiovascular outcomes is poorly understood. We sought to systematically review the literature on appropriate use criteria (AUC) for MPI, including temporal trend of inappropriate testing and resulting cardiovascular outcomes.We searched the MEDLINE database for studies related to AUC and MPI. The co-primary outcomes were abnormal test results and the presence of cardiac ischemia. Random effects odds ratios (OR) were constructed using DerSimonian-Laird method.A total of 22 studies with 23,443 patients were included. The prevalence of inappropriate testing was 14.8% [95% confidence interval (CI) 11.6%-18.7%]. Inappropriate MPI studies were less likely to be abnormal (OR 0.41 95% CI 0.35-0.49, P < .0001) and to demonstrate ischemia (OR 0.40, 95% CI 0.24-0.67, P < .0001) compared to appropriate testing. No difference in the rate of inappropriate tests was detected based on the midpoint of the enrollment year (P = .54). The pattern of ordering inappropriate studies was not different between cardiology and non-cardiology providers (OR 0.74, 95% CI 0.51-1.06, P = .10).Inappropriate MPI studies are less likely to yield abnormal results or demonstrate myocardial ischemia. The rate of inappropriate MPI has not decreased over time.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Appropriate use criteria (AUC) for cardiac stress tests address concerns about utilization growth and patient safety. We systematically reviewed studies of appropriateness, including within physician specialties; evaluated trends over time and in response to AUC updates; and characterized leading indications for inappropriate/rarely appropriate testing.<h4>Methods</h4>We searched PubMed (2005-2015) for English-language articles reporting stress echocardiography or myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) appropriateness. Data were pooled using random-effects meta-analysis and meta-regression.<h4>Results</h4>Thirty-four publications of 41,578 patients were included, primarily from academic centers. Stress echocardiography appropriate testing rates were 53.0% (95% CI, 45.3%-60.7%) and 50.9% (42.6%-59.2%) and inappropriate/rarely appropriate rates were 19.1% (11.4%-26.8%) and 28.4% (23.9%-32.8%) using 2008 and 2011 AUC, respectively. Stress MPI appropriate testing rates were 71.1% (64.5%-77.7%) and 72.0% (67.6%-76.3%) and inappropriate/rarely appropriate rates were 10.7% (7.2%-14.2%) and 15.7% (12.4%-19.1%) using 2005 and 2009 AUC, respectively. There was no significant temporal trend toward rising rates of appropriateness for stress echocardiography or MPI. Unclassified stress echocardiograms fell by 79% (p = 0.04) with updated AUC. There were no differences between cardiac specialists and internists.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Rates of appropriate use tend to be lower for stress echocardiography compared to MPI, and updated AUC reduced unclassified stress echocardiograms. There is no conclusive evidence that AUC improved appropriate use over time. Further research is needed to determine if integration of appropriateness guidelines in academic and community settings is an effective approach to optimizing inappropriate/rarely appropriate use of stress testing and its associated costs and patient harms.
Project description:Policy Points Patients with low socioeconomic status (SES) experience poorer survival rates after diagnosis of breast cancer, even when enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid. Most of the difference in survival is due to more advanced cancer on presentation and the general poor health of lower SES patients, while only a very small fraction of the SES disparity is due to differences in cancer treatment. Even when comparing only low- versus not-low-SES whites (without confounding by race) the survival disparity between disparate white SES populations is very large and is associated with lower use of preventive care, despite having insurance. CONTEXT:Disparities in breast cancer survival by socioeconomic status (SES) exist despite the "safety net" programs Medicare and Medicaid. What is less clear is the extent to which SES disparities affect various racial and ethnic groups and whether causes differ across populations. METHODS:We conducted a tapered matching study comparing 1,890 low-SES (LSES) non-Hispanic white, 1,824 black, and 723 Hispanic white women to 60,307 not-low-SES (NLSES) non-Hispanic white women, all in Medicare and diagnosed with invasive breast cancer between 1992 and 2010 in 17 US Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) regions. LSES Medicare patients were Medicaid dual-eligible and resided in neighborhoods with both high poverty and low education. NLSES Medicare patients had none of these factors. MEASUREMENTS:5-year and median survival. FINDINGS:LSES non-Hispanic white patients were diagnosed with more stage IV disease (6.6% vs 3.6%; p < 0.0001), larger tumors (24.6 mm vs 20.2 mm; p < 0.0001), and more chronic diseases such as diabetes (37.8% vs 19.0%; p < 0.0001) than NLSES non-Hispanic white patients. Disparity in 5-year survival (NLSES - LSES) was 13.7% (p < 0.0001) when matched for age, year, and SEER site (a 42-month difference in median survival). Additionally, matching 55 presentation factors, including stage, reduced the disparity to 4.9% (p = 0.0012), but further matching on treatments yielded little further change in disparity: 4.6% (p = 0.0014). Survival disparities among LSES blacks and Hispanics, also versus NLSES whites, were significantly associated with presentation factors, though black patients also displayed disparities related to initial treatment. Before being diagnosed, all LSES populations used significantly less preventive care services than matched NLSES controls. CONCLUSIONS:In Medicare, SES disparities in breast cancer survival were large (even among non-Hispanic whites) and predominantly related to differences of presentation characteristics at diagnosis rather than differences in treatment. Preventive care was less frequent in LSES patients, which may help explain disparities at presentation.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Understanding the characteristics of men who initially present with metastatic prostate cancer (mPCa) can better enable directed improvement initiatives. The objective of this study was to assess the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and newly diagnosed mPCa. MATERIALS METHODS:All men diagnosed with PCa in the National Cancer Data Base from 2004 to 2013 were identified. Characteristics of men presenting with and without metastatic disease were compared. A 4-level composite metric of SES was created using Census-based income and education data. Multivariable logistic regression was used to evaluate the association between SES, race/ethnicity, and insurance and the risk of presenting with mPCa at the time of diagnosis. RESULTS:Of 1,034,754 patients diagnosed with PCa, 4% had mPCa at initial presentation. Lower SES (first vs. fourth quartile; odds ratio [OR] = 1.39, 95% CI: 1.35-1.44), black and Hispanic race/ethnicity (vs. white; OR = 1.47, 95% CI: 1.43-1.51 and OR = 1.22, 95% CI: 1.17-1.28, respectively), and having Medicaid or no insurance (vs. Medicare or private; OR = 3.91, 95% CI: 3.78-4.05) were each independently associated with higher odds of presenting with mPCa after adjusting for all other covariates. CONCLUSIONS:Lower SES, race/ethnicity, and having Medicaid or no insurance were each independently associated with higher odds of presenting with metastases at the time of PCa diagnosis. Our findings may partially explain current PCa outcomes disparities and inform future efforts to reduce disparities.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>New treatments for hepatitis C (HCV) infection hold great promise for cure, but numerous challenges to diagnosing, establishing care, and receiving therapy exist. There are limited data on insurance authorization for these medications.<h4>Materials and methods</h4>We performed a retrospective chart review of patients receiving sofosbuvir/ledipasvir (SOF/LED) from October 11-December 31, 2014 to determine rates and timing of drug authorization. We also determined predictors of approval, and those factors associated with faster decision and approval times.<h4>Results</h4>Of 174 patients prescribed HCV therapy during this period, 129 requests were made for SOF/LED, of whom 100 (77.5%) received initial approval, and an additional 17 patients (13.9%) ultimately received approval through the appeals process. Faster approval times were seen in patients with Child-Pugh Class B disease (14.4 vs. 24.7 days, p = 0.048). A higher proportion of patients were initially approved in those with Medicare/Medicaid coverage (92.2% vs. 71.4%, p = 0.002) and those with baseline viral load ? 6 million IU/mL (84.1% vs. 62.5%, p = 0.040). Linear regression modeling identified advanced fibrosis, high Model of End Stage Liver Disease (MELD) score, and female gender as significant predictors of shorter decision and approval times. On logistic regression, Medicare/Medicaid coverage (OR 5.96, 95% CI 1.66-21.48) and high viral load (OR 4.52, 95% CI 1.08-19.08) were significant predictors for initial approval.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Early analysis of real-world drug authorization outcomes between October-December 2014 reveals that nearly one in four patients are initially denied access to SOF/LED upon initial prescription, although most patients are eventually approved through appeal, which delays treatment initiation. Having Medicare/Medicaid and advanced liver disease resulted in a higher likelihood of approval as well as earlier decision and approval times. More studies are needed to determine factors resulting in higher likelihood of denial and to evaluate approval rates and times after implementation of restrictive prior authorization guidelines.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Inappropriate antimicrobial therapy of <i>Staphylococcus aureus</i> bacteremia (SAB) is associated with worsened outcomes. The impact of insurance coverage on appropriate selection of antibiotics at discharge is poorly understood.<h4>Methods</h4>We used a retrospective cohort design to evaluate whether patients with SAB at a large academic medical center over 2 years were more likely to receive inappropriate discharge antibiotics, depending on their category of insurance. Insurance was classified as Medicare, Medicaid, commercial, and none. Logistic regression was used to determine the odds of being prescribed inappropriate discharge therapy.<h4>Results</h4>A total of 273 SAB patients met inclusion criteria, with 14.3% receiving inappropriate discharge therapy. In the unadjusted model, there was 2-fold increased odds of being prescribed inappropriate therapy for Medicare, Medicaid, and no insurance, compared with commercial insurance, respectively (odds ratio [OR], 2.08; 95% CI, 1.39-3.13). After controlling for discharge with nursing assistance and infectious diseases (ID) consult, there were 1.6-fold increased odds (OR, 1.57; 95% CI, 0.998-2.53; <i>P</i>?=?.064) of being prescribed inappropriate therapy for Medicare, Medicaid, and no insurance, compared with commercial insurance, respectively. We found that being discharged home without nursing assistance resulted in 4-fold increased odds of being prescribed inappropriate therapy (OR, 4.16; 95% CI, 1.77-9.77; <i>P</i>?<?.01), and failing to consult an ID team resulted in 59-fold increased odds of being prescribed inappropriate therapy (OR, 59.2; 95% CI, 11.4-306.9; <i>P</i>?<?.001).<h4>Conclusions</h4>We found strong evidence that noncommercial insurance, discharging without nursing assistance, and failure to consult ID are risk factors for being prescribed inappropriate antimicrobial therapy for SAB upon hospital discharge.
Project description:Importance:Prior authorization requirements may be a barrier to accessing medications for opioid use disorder treatment and may, therefore, be associated with poor health care outcomes. Objective:To determine the association of prior authorization with use of buprenorphine-naloxone and health care outcomes. Design, Setting, and Participants:This comparative interrupted time series analysis examined enrollment and insurance claims data from Medicare beneficiaries with an opioid use disorder diagnosis or who filled a prescription for an opioid use disorder medication between 2012 and 2017. Over this period, 775?874 members were in 1479 Part D plans that always required prior authorization, 113?286 members were in 206 plans that removed prior authorization, 189?461 members were in 489 plans that never required prior authorization, and 619?919 members were in 485 plans that added prior authorization. Data analysis was performed from April 2019 to February 2020. Exposures:Removal or addition of prior authorization and new prescriptions filled for buprenorphine-naloxone. Main Outcomes and Measures:Buprenorphine-naloxone use, inpatient admissions, emergency department visits, and prescription drug and medical expenditures. Results:The study population in 2012 included 949?206 Medicare beneficiaries (mean [SD] age, 57  years; 550?445 women [58%]). Removal of prior authorization was associated with an increase of 17.9 prescriptions (95% CI, 1.1 to 34.7 prescriptions) filled for buprenorphine-naloxone per plan per year, which is a doubling of the number of prescriptions, on average. Each prescription filled was associated with statistically significant decreases in adverse health care outcomes: substance use disorder-related inpatient admissions decreased by 0.1 admission per plan per year (95% CI, -0.2 to -0.1 admission per plan per year), and substance use disorder-related emergency department visits decreased by 0.1 visit per plan per year (95% CI, -0.13 to -0.03 visit per plan per year) (all P?<?.001). Combining these results, removal of prior authorization was associated with a reduction in substance use disorder-related inpatient admissions by 2.0 admissions per plan per year (95% CI, -4.3 to -0.1 admissions per plan per year) and substance use disorder-related emergency department visits by 1.4 visits per plan per year (95% CI, -3.2 to -0.1 visits per plan per year). Conclusions and Relevance:Removing prior authorization for buprenorphine-naloxone was associated with an increase in the medication use and decreases in health care utilization and expenditures.
Project description:Importance:The 2019 federal Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative requires a vast expansion of access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) and preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV treatment and prevention. However, high prices for ART and PrEP can reduce their affordability and use. Medicare covers 1 in 4 persons living with HIV, and the Medicare Part D drug benefit imposes complicated cost-sharing between patients and other stakeholders. Objective:To determine how the Medicare Part D design distributes the cost burden for ART and PrEP between patients, insurance plans, manufacturers, and Medicare. Design and Setting:Nationwide cross-sectional analyses of first quarter 2019 Medicare formulary and pricing files for 3326 Part D plans were performed. These files contain drug benefit data, including prices and cost-sharing requirements. Main Outcomes and Measures:For 18 ART and 2 PrEP regimens, the out-of-pocket costs for patients and the cost borne by plans, manufacturers, and Medicare were projected for 1 year of treatment or prevention under a 2019 standard Medicare Part D insurance plan. Analyses assumed that patients used the ART or PrEP regimen and no other medications. Results:In 2019, ART prices ranged from $24?010 to $46?770 annually (median price, $35?780), with patients projected to pay 9% to 14% of the cost ($3270-$4350), insurance plans 18% to 24% ($5340-$8450), manufacturers 6% to 11% ($2370-$2750), and Medicare 53% to 67% ($12?770-$31?270). The price of PrEP was $20?570 annually, with patients contributing 15% ($2990), insurance plans 22% ($4570), manufacturers 13% ($2750), and Medicare 50% ($10?260). For beneficiaries with low-income subsidies that cover all patient cost-sharing, Medicare would assume 67% to 76% of ART costs and 65% of PrEP costs. Conclusions and Relevance:Medicare Part D mandates universal ART and PrEP coverage, but high prices (>$35?000 annually for ART and>$20?000 annually for PrEP) and the design of Part D can jeopardize affordability for patients and place most of the cost burden on taxpayers. Under a standard Medicare Part D benefit, patients pay $3000 to $4000 out-of-pocket yearly, unless they qualify for low-income subsidies, and half to two-thirds of the cost of ART and PrEP is borne by Medicare rather than insurance plans or manufacturers. To end the HIV epidemic by 2030, it appears that policies must address both high drug prices and revamp Medicare Part D cost-sharing.
Project description:This study sought to examine whether rates of inappropriate percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) differ by demographic characteristics and insurance status.Prior studies have found that blacks, women, and those who have public or no health insurance are less likely to undergo PCI. Whether this reflects potential overuse in whites, men, and privately insured patients, in addition to underuse in disadvantaged populations, is unknown.Within the National Cardiovascular Data Registry CathPCI Registry, we identified 221,254 nonacute PCIs performed between July 2009 and March 2011. The appropriateness of PCI was determined using the Appropriate Use Criteria for coronary revascularization. Multivariable hierarchical regression was used to evaluate the association between patient demographics and insurance status and inappropriate PCI, as defined by the Appropriate Use Criteria.Of 211,254 nonacute PCIs, 25,749 (12.2%) were classified as inappropriate. After multivariable adjustment, men (adjusted odd ratio [OR]: 1.08 [95% CI: 1.05 to 1.11]; p < 0.001) and whites (adjusted OR: 1.09 [95% CI: 1.05 to 1.14]; p < 0.001) were more likely to undergo an inappropriate PCI in comparison with women and nonwhites. Compared with privately insured patients, those who had Medicare (adjusted OR: 0.85 [95% CI: 0.83 to 0.88]), other public insurance (adjusted OR: 0.78 [95% CI: 0.73 to 0.83]), and no insurance (adjusted OR: 0.56 [95% CI: 0.50 to 0.61]) were less likely to undergo an inappropriate PCI (p < 0.001). In addition, compared with urban hospitals, those admitted at rural hospitals were less likely to undergo inappropriate PCI, whereas those at suburban hospitals were more likely.For nonacute indications, PCIs categorized as inappropriate were more commonly performed in men, whites, and those who had private insurance. Higher rates of PCI in these patient populations may, in part, be due to procedural overuse.
Project description:<h4>Importance</h4>Community-level socioeconomic status, particularly insurance status, is increasingly becoming important as a possible determinant in patient outcomes.<h4>Objective</h4>To determine the association of insurance and community-level socioeconomic status with outcome for patients with pharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).<h4>Design, setting, and participants</h4>This study extracted data from more than 1500 Commission on Cancer-accredited facilities collected in the National Cancer Database. A total of 35?559 patients diagnosed with SCC of the pharynx from 2004 through 2013 were identified. The ?2 test, Kaplan-Meier method, and Cox regression models were used to analyze data from April 1, 2016, through April 16, 2017.<h4>Main outcomes and measures</h4>Overall survival was defined as time to death from the date of diagnosis.<h4>Results</h4>Among the 35?559 patients identified (75.6% men and 24.4% women; median age, 61 years [range, 18-90 years]), 15?146 (42.6%) had Medicare coverage; 13?061 (36.7%), private insurance; 4881 (13.7%), Medicaid coverage; and 2471 (6.9%), no insurance. Uninsured patients and Medicaid recipients were more likely to be younger, black, or Hispanic; to have lower median household income and lower educational attainment; to present with higher TNM stages of disease; and to start primary treatment at a later time from diagnosis. Those with private insurance (reference group) had significantly better overall survival than uninsured patients (hazard ratio [HR], 1.72; 95% CI, 1.59-1.87), Medicaid recipients (HR, 1.99; 95% CI, 1.88-2.12), or Medicare recipients (HR, 2.07; 95% CI, 1.99-2.16), as did those with median household income of at least $63?000 (reference) vs $48?000 to $62?999 (HR, 1.19; 95% CI, 1.13-1.26), $38?000 to $47?999 (HR, 1.31; 95% CI, 1.24-1.38), and less than $38?000 (HR, 1.51; 95% CI, 1.43-1.59). On multivariable analysis, insurance status and median household income remained independent prognostic factors for overall survival even after accounting for educational attainment, race, Charlson/Deyo comorbidity score, disease site, and TNM stage of disease.<h4>Conclusions and relevance</h4>Insurance status and household income level are associated with outcome in patients with SCC of the pharynx. Those without insurance and with lower household income may significantly benefit from improving access to adequate, timely medical care. Additional investigations are necessary to develop targeted interventions to optimize access to standard medical treatments, adherence to physician management recommendations, and subsequently, prognosis in these patients at risk.