Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, Opiods / 01.04.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Aparna Soni PhD, Assistant Professor Department of Public Administration and Policy School of Public Affairs American University Washington, DC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The United States is in the midst of an opioid epidemic. Opioids are responsible for nearly 50,000 deaths per year and present a substantial financial burden on hospitals. The rate of opioids-related hospital events has tripled since 2005. We are particularly concerned about rising hospitalizations because they may stem from a lack of access to treatment for individuals with opioid use disorder. Medication-assisted treatment is effective in treating opioid use disorder but can be unaffordable for people without health insurance. (more…)
Author Interviews, Beth Israel Deaconess, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cost of Health Care, Geriatrics, JAMA, Medicare / 12.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rishi KWadhera, MD Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians Cardiovasular Diseases Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In the U.S., income inequality has steadily increased over the last several decades. Given widening inequities, there has been significant concern about the health outcomes of older Americans who experience poverty, particularly because prior studies have shown a strong link between socioeconomic status and health. In this study, we evaluated how health outcomes for low-income older adults who are dually enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid have changed since the early 2000’s, and whether disparities have narrowed or widened over time compared with more affluent older adults who are solely enrolled in Medicare (non-dually enrolled). (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, University of Pennsylvania / 20.02.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Samuel Takvorian, MD, MS Instructor in the Division of Hematology and Oncology LDI Associate Professor University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansions have been associated with improved access to care, affordability, and for certain surgical and medical conditions, health outcomes. However, studies have also suggested unintended consequences such as lengthened wait times, and there is continued debate about the overall impact of the expansions. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Cost of Health Care, JAMA / 18.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Evan M. Graboyes, MD Surveillance and Health Services Research American Cancer Society, Atlanta, Georgia Department of Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Prior studies have shown that Medication Expansions under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) are associated with a decrease in uninsured individuals and increases in the percentage of nonelderly patients diagnosed with localized (stage I-II) cancer, primarily for cancers for which effective screening tests exist. Because no screening test exists for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), access to care for physical examination and tissue-based biopsy- and thus health insurance coverage- are critical for the timely recognition of symptoms, early disease stage at diagnosis, and treatment initiation. However, the downstream association of changes in health insurance coverage following Medicaid expansion under the ACA with stage at diagnosis and time to treatment initiation, key metrics for access to care for HNSCC, remain unknown. (more…)
Author Interviews, Opiods / 15.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Paul Christine, MD, PhD University of Michigan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In an effort to increase employment and "community engagement" among Medicaid enrollees, several states are seeking to implement new Medicaid work requirements. While many proposals make exemptions for individuals with substance use disorders, some require active treatment to qualify for an exemption and maintain Medicaid eligibility. Since many enrollees with substance use disorder would thus need to access treatment to maintain coverage, we sought to quantify the availability of treatment resources in states with and without Medicaid work requirements. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Health Care Systems / 22.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David S Buck, MD, MPH Associate Dean of Community Health Professor, Clinical Sciences University of Houston - College of Medicine Houston, TX 77204  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: High-Needs, High-Cost (HNHC) patients account for 5% of the general population and cost 50% of the healthcare spending. In Harris County, one patient alone costed $439,600 in a year when he visited multiple medical, social and behavioral agencies for care. This was a result of siloed systems working independently of each other leading to inefficient care for the patient. By providing coordinated care, using patient-centered goals and values, we are able to better engage and provide a holistic approach to patient care.  This paper introduces a novel ‘values-based’ intervention mechanism for the HNHC patients, in addition to a coordinated care management approach, through a single record system. The findings indicate an improved daily functioning of the HNHC patients over 4 months, improved relationship between the providers and the patients and moderate well-being scores. (more…)
Author Interviews, Nutrition / 20.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Leighton Ku, PhD, MPH Professor, Dept. of Health Policy and Management Director, Center for Health Policy Research Milken Institute School of Public Health George Washington University Washington, DC 20052   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In this study, we examined how requirements that low-income adults work in order to keep their food assistance benefits (SNAP, formerly called food stamps) affects the number of people receiving benefits.  Briefly, we found, based on analyses of data from 2,410 counties from 2013 to 2017, that soon after work requirements are introduced, more than a third of affected participants lose their food assistance.  This meant that about 600,000 poor adults lost food assistance very quickly. This is important for two reasons: (1) Work requirements create greater hardship, including food insecurity and increased risk of health problems, when poor people lose their nutrition benefits. (2) The Trump Administration is trying to broaden this policy, expanding it further in SNAP, but also applying work requirements to Medicaid (for health insurance) and public housing benefits.  This is a massive effort at social experimentation that will cause tremendous harm. And the sad part is that we already know, from other research, that these work requirement programs do not actually help people get jobs, keep them or to become more self-sufficient.  This is because the work requirements do not address the real needs of low-income unemployed people, to learn how to get better job skills or to have supports, such as child care, transportation or health insurance, that let them keep working.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA / 18.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jim Stimpson, PhD Professor, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Health Management and Policy Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We have limited information on the impact of the ACA on persons with a disability, even though nearly 1 in 5 persons in the US has a physical or mental disability. Prior to the ACA, persons with a disability had complications accessing health insurance for a variety of reasons including lower likelihood of employer-based coverage, reduced access to private insurance due to pre-existing conditions, and income-restrictions for Medicaid coverage that are on average below the poverty threshold across the country. (more…)
Author Interviews, Health Care Systems, Primary Care, University of Pennsylvania / 11.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Molly Candon PhD Research Assistant Professor of Psychiatry Lecturer, Department of Health Care Management The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania Co-Instructor, Health Services and Policy Research Methods II, MS in Health Policy Research Program, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: A team of researchers (led by Karin Rhodes, MD and Dan Polsky, PhD) conducted a secret shopper study of thousands of primary care practices across 10 states, with trained callers simulating patients with Medicaid and requesting appointments. One of the outcome measures was whether an appointment was scheduled with a physician or Advanced Practitioner. Between 2012 and 2016, the share of appointments scheduled with Advanced Practitioners increased by five percentage points.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Heart Disease, JAMA, University of Pennsylvania / 07.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sameed Khatana, MD, MPH Fellow, Cardiovascular Medicine, Perleman School of Medicine Associate Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics University of Pennsylvania  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: The Affordable Care Act (ACA) led to the largest increase in Medicaid coverage since the beginning of the program. However, a number of states decided not to expand eligibility. Studies of prior smaller expansions in Medicaid, such as in individual states, have suggested evidence of improved outcomes associated with Medicaid expansion. Additionally, studies of Medicaid expansion under the ACA of certain health measures such as access to preventive care and medication adherence have suggested some improvements as well. However, there have been no large, population-level studies to examine whether Medicaid expansion under the ACA led to changes in mortality rates. Given, a high burden of cardiovascular risk factors in the uninsured, we examined whether states that had expanded Medicaid had a change in cardiovascular mortality rates after expansion, compared to states that have not expanded Medicaid. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, Mental Health Research / 06.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hefei Wen, PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Health Management & Policy University of Kentucky College of Public Health  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Medicaid is the principal payer of behavioral health services in the U.S. and expected to play an increasing role in financing behavioral health services following Medicaid expansions under the ACA. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 24.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Clare Brown, PhD Health Systems and Services Research University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences J. Mick Tilford, PhD, Professor and Chair Department of Health Policy and Management Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health University of Arkansas for Medical Science   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Prematurity and low birthweight are associated with increased risk of infant mortality as well as increased risk of chronic conditions throughout infancy and into adulthood. Non-Hispanic black infants are twice as likely to be born low birthweight (13.9% vs 7.0%) and 1.5 times as likely to be born prematurely (13.9% vs 9.1%) compared to non-Hispanic white infants. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), states may expand Medicaid to adults with household income levels at or below 138% of the federal poverty level, thus extending coverage to childless adults and improving continuity. Insurance gain may ultimately improve maternal health, increased use and earlier initiation of prenatal care services, and improved access to pregnancy planning resources. Our study aimed to evaluate whether there were changes in rates of low birthweight and preterm birth outcomes among states that expanded Medicaid versus states that did not expand Medicaid. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Radiation Therapy / 23.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ankit Agarwal, MD, MBA PGY-3, Radiation Oncology Resident UNC Health Care MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Medicaid provides vital health insurance for millions of mostly low income Americans throughout the United States. However, it is well known that patients with Medicaid have worse clinical outcomes than patients with private insurance or Medicare insurance. Part of the reason for this may be due to difficulties with access to care, in part due to the traditionally very low payments in the Medicaid system. We found that Medicaid payment rates for a standard course of breast cancer radiation treatment can vary over fivefold (ranging from $2,945 to $15,218)  (more…)
Author Interviews, Emergency Care, Global Health, JAMA / 12.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Margaret B. Greenwood-Ericksen MD, MSc Department of Emergency Medicine University of New Mexico Albuquerque, NM 87109 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: I’m an emergency physician, so I see first-hand how emergency department use patterns provide a lens into the status of health care delivery in the communities they serve. Troubling declines in the health of rural Americans coupled with rising rural hospital closures – with little access to alternative sites of care like urgent care – all led me to hypothesize that rural populations may be engaging with the health care system differently than their urban counterparts. Understanding the health care use of individuals in rural areas may yield insights into addressing rural health disparities. Further, this information may help healthcare systems and policymakers to make data-driven decisions informing new models of healthcare delivery for rural communities. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Mental Health Research, Occupational Health, Social Issues / 08.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hefei Wen, PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Health Management & Policy University of Kentucky College of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Work requirements condition Medicaid eligibility on completing a specified number of hours of employment, work search, job training, or community service. Little is known about how behavioral health and other chronic health conditions intersect with employment status among Medicaid enrollees who may be subject to work requirements. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care / 28.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sean Dickson, JD MPH Officer, Drug Spending Research Initiative The Pew Charitable Trusts Washington, DC 20004 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Price increases on existing drugs are an ongoing challenge for patients and insurers, including government programs like Medicaid and Medicare. The Medicaid program requires drug manufacturers to provide a rebate that offsets price increases greater than inflation, but that rebate is capped once price increases exceed 433 percent above inflation. When these rebates are capped, manufacturers may find it more profitable to take very large price increases, raising costs for all payers. The Medicaid program has proposed removing the cap, and this study considers the effects of that proposal.  (more…)
Author Interviews / 11.12.2018

MedicalResearch.comInterview with:
Lisa M. Lines, PhD, MPH
University ofMassachusetts Medical School
Worcester
RTI International,Waltham, MA

MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?

Response: The problem of potentially avoidable emergency department (ED) visits has been linked to barriers in access to high-quality, timely primary care. In Massachusetts ,about half of all ED visits were considered potentially avoidable, or primary-care sensitive (PCS), in the mid-2000s. Indeed, improving access to primary care was a prime motive for the state’s – and the nation’s – first universal coverage health insurance program in 2006. Now, the state has the highest coverage rate in the country.

We used Massachusetts All-Payer Claims Data to study characteristics of insured Massachusetts residents associated with primary-care sensitive ED use and compared such use among people under age 65 with public (Medicaid[MassHealth]) versus private insurance. We studied more than 2.2 million individuals in 2011-12; about 40% had public insurance in 2011, and the rest had private insurance. Our PCS ED measure included nonurgent, urgent but primary care treatable, and urgent but potentially avoidable ED visits.

We found that primary-care sensitive ED use was more than 4 times higher among the publicly insured (public insurees: 36.5 PCS ED visits per 100 person-years; private insurees: 9.0). After adjusting for a range of potential confounders, such as the vastly different morbidity burden of the two groups, public insurance in2011 was associated with about 150% more primary-care sensitive ED use. We also found that 70% of people with public insurance had at least 1 primary care visit, compared with 80% of those with private insurance. The public group also had fewer visits to their PCP of record, even though nearly all of them had an officially designated PCP.

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Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, Kidney Disease / 31.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "Plugged into dialysis" by Dan is licensed under CC BY 2.0Amal Trivedi, MD, MPH Associate Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice Associate Professor of Medicine Brown University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion gave states the option to expand coverage to low-income adults. Prior research has reported that these expansions have been associated with increased coverage, improved access to care, and in some studies better self-rated health. To date the impact of Medicaid expansion on mortality rates, particularly for persons with serious chronic illness, remains unknown. Our study found an association between Medicaid expansion and lower death rates for patients with end-stage renal disease in the first year after initiating dialysis.  Specifically, we found an absolute reduction in 1-year mortality in expansion states of -0.6 percentage points, which represents a 9% relative reduction in 1-year mortality.      (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Cost of Health Care, ENT, HPV, JAMA, Surgical Research / 18.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Richard B. Cannon, MD Division of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery School of Medicine University of Utah, Salt Lake City  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a nationwide effort to reduce the number of uninsured individuals in the United States and increase access to health care. This legislation is commonly debated and objective data is needed to evaluate its impact.  As a head and neck cancer surgeon, I sought to evaluate how the ACA had specifically influenced my patients.  Main findings below:     MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report? Response: This population-based study found an increase in the percentage of patients enrolled in Medicaid and private insurance and a large decrease in the rates of uninsured patients after implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).  This change was only seen in states that adopted the Medicaid expansion in 2014. The decrease in the rate of uninsured patients was significant, 6.2% before versus 3.0% after. Patients who were uninsured prior to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act had poorer survival outcomes. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, Pediatrics / 19.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Julie L. Hudson, PhD Center for Financing, Access, and Cost Trends Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Rockville, Maryland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Since 2013, public coverage has increased not only among low-income adults newly eligible for Medicaid but also among children and adults who were previously eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Recent research has shown that growth in public coverage varied by state-level policy choices. In this paper we study the growth in public coverage (Medicaid/CHIP) for three population samples living in Medicaid Expansion states between 2013 and 2015: previously eligible children, previously eligible parents, and newly eligible parents by state-level marketplace policies (Note: eligibility refers to eligible for Medicaid/CHIP, eligibility for marketplace subsidized coverage). All marketplaces are required to assess each applicants’ eligibility for both the marketplace and for Medicaid/CHIP. States running state-based marketplaces are required to enroll Medicaid-/CHIP-eligible applicants directly into public coverage (Medicaid or CHIP), but states using federally-facilitated marketplaces can opt to require their marketplace to forward these cases to state Medicaid/CHIP authorities for final eligibility determination and enrollment. We study the impact of marketplace policies on public coverage by observing changes in the probability Medicaid-/CHIP-eligible children and parents are enrolled in public coverage across three marketplace structures: state-based marketplaces that are required to enroll Medicaid-/CHIP-eligible applicants directly into public coverage, federally-facilitated marketplaces in states that enroll Medicaid-/CHIP-eligible applicants directly into public coverage, and federally-facilitated marketplaces with no authority to enroll Medicaid-/CHIP-eligible applicants into public coverage. Supporting the existing literature, we find that public coverage grew between 2013-2015 for all three of our samples of Medicaid-/CHIP-eligible children and parents living in Medicaid expansion states. However, we show that growth in public coverage was smallest in expansion states that adopted a federally-facilitated marketplace and gave no authority to the marketplace to enroll Medicaid-/CHIP-eligible applicants directly into public coverage. Additionally, once we account for enrollment authority, we found no differences in growth of public coverage for eligible children and parents living in expansion states that adopted a state-based marketplace versus those in states that adopted a federally-facilitated marketplaces with the authority to directly enroll Medicaid-/CHIP-eligible applicants (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC, Outcomes & Safety, Surgical Research, University of Michigan / 12.04.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Donald Likosky, Ph.D., M.S. Associate Professor Head of the Section of Health Services Research and Quality Department of Cardiac Surgery. University of Michigan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Michigan was one of several states to expand Medicaid. Current evaluations of the Michigan Medicaid expansion program have noted increases in primary care services and health risk assessments, but less work has evaluated its role within a specialty service line. There has been concern among some that Medicaid patients, who have traditionally lacked access to preventive services, may be at high risk for poor clinical outcomes if provided increased access to cardiovascular interventions. Using data from two physician-led quality collaboratives, we evaluated the volume and outcomes of percutaneous coronary interventions and coronary artery bypass grafting 24mos before and 24mos after expansion. We noted large-scale increased access to both percutaneous coronary interventions (44.5% increase) and coronary artery bypass grafting (103.8% increase) among patients with Medicaid insurance. There was a decrease in access for patients with private insurance in both cohorts. Nonetheless, outcomes (clinical and resource utilization) were not adversely impacted by expansion.  (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, MD Anderson, Outcomes & Safety, Surgical Research / 24.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andrew Phillip Loehrer MD MPH Fellow in Surgical Oncology Department The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: A growing number of studies have examined the effects of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion.  But none to date have looked at effects on surgical conditions, which are both expensive and potentially life-threatening.  We examined data for nearly 300,000 patients who presented to hospitals with common and serious surgical conditions such as appendicitis and aortic aneurysms. We found that expansion of Medicaid coverage was linked to increased insurance coverage for these patients, but even more importantly, Medicaid expansion led patients to come to the hospital earlier before complications set in, and they also received better surgical care once they got there. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 20.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Chintan Bhatt  MBBS, MPH    (HE/HIM/HIS) Department of Health Promotion & Disease Prevention, Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, Florida International University Miami Fl  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Women and children are disproportionately affected by the uncertainty around medical health insurance rising in the United States. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was implemented on Jan 1st, 2014, since then the uninsured rate decreased considerably, especially in women aged 18 to 64 years. ACA revised and expanded Medicaid eligibility. Under the law, all U.S. citizens and legal residents with income up to 133% of the poverty line, including adults without dependent children, would qualify for coverage in any state that participated in the Medicaid program. Because of the large proportion of maternal, infant, and child health care and preventive services funded by Medicaid. The purpose of our study was to examine the potential effect of Medicaid expansion on infant mortality rates by comparing infant mortality rate trends in states and Washington D.C. by Medicaid expansion acceptance or decline. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, OBGYNE / 29.12.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Laura R. Wherry, Ph.D. Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA Los Angeles, CA 90024  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: All states provide Medicaid coverage to pregnant women, but many low-income women do not qualify for the program when they are not pregnant. However, state decisions to expand Medicaid coverage to low-income parents and adults allow low-income women to have Medicaid coverage prior to, and between, their pregnancies. Increased health insurance coverage for low-income women during these non-pregnancy periods may help improve their preconception health and their planning of pregnancies, ultimately leading to healthier pregnancies and infants. This study examines how state expansions in Medicaid coverage for low-income parents before the Affordable Care Act affected the health insurance status of mothers prior to additional pregnancies (i.e. their pre-pregnancy health insurance status). I also examine whether there are changes in pregnancy intention (i.e. whether the pregnancy was mistimed or unwanted), as better access to pre-pregnancy insurance coverage could increase contraception utilization and improve the planning of pregnancies. Finally, I examine whether there were changes in insurance coverage during pregnancy and in the utilization of prenatal care, since women who have pre-pregnancy insurance coverage may experience fewer barriers to establishing care during their pregnancies. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA / 12.12.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Renuka Tipirneni, MD, MSc Clinical Lecturer in Internal Medicine University of Michigan Department of Internal Medicine, Division of General Medicine, and Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation Ann Arbor, MI MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Several states have submitted proposals to require Medicaid expansion enrollees to work, actively seek work or volunteer, or risk losing Medicaid coverage. The current federal administration has signaled a willingness to approve the waivers states need to enact such requirements. In our survey of over 4000 Medicaid expansion enrollees in Michigan, we found that nearly half of enrollees have jobs, another 11 percent can’t work, likely due to serious physical or mental health conditions, and another 27% are out of work but also are much more likely to be in poor health. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Primary Care, University of Pennsylvania / 14.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Molly Candon, PhD Postdoctoral Fellow Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research University of Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We conducted a secret shopper study in 2012, 2014, and 2016 in which simulated Medicaid patients called primary care practices and attempted to schedule an appointment. When Medicaid fees were increased to Medicare levels in 2013 and 2014, primary care appointment availability increased. Once the federally-funded program ended in 2015, most states returned to lower fees. As expected, provider participation in Medicaid declined as well. (more…)
Author Interviews, Health Care Systems, Hospital Readmissions / 30.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hsueh-Fen Chen, Ph.D. Associate Professor Department of Health Policy and Management College of Public Health University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Little Rock, AR 72205 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP) and Hospital Value-based Purchasing (HVBP) Program in 2011 and implemented the two programs in 2013. These two programs financially motivate hospitals to reduce readmission rates and improve quality of care, efficiency, and patient experience. The Mississippi Delta Region is one of the most impoverished areas in the country, with a high proportion of minorities occupying in the region.  Additionally, these hospitals are  safety-net resources for the poor. It was largely unknown what the financial performance for the hospitals in the Mississippi Delta Region was under the HRRP and HVBP programs.

Dr. Chen and colleagues in the Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences compared the financial performance between Delta hospitals and non-Delta hospitals (namely, other hospitals in the nation) from 2008 through 2014 that were covered before and after the implementation of the HRRP and HVBP programs. The financial performance was measured by using the operating margin (profitability from patient care) and total margin (profitability from patient care and non-patient care)

Before the implementation of the HRRP and HVBP programs, Delta hospitals had weaker financial performance than non-Delta hospitals but their differences were not statistically significant. After the implementation of the HRRP and HVBP programs, the gap in financial performance between Delta and non-Delta hospitals became wider and significant. The unadjusted operating margin for Delta hospitals was about -4.0% in 2011 and continuously fell to -10.4% in 2014, while the unadjusted operating margin for non-Delta hospitals was about 0.1% in 2011 and dropped to -1.5% in 2014. The unadjusted total margin for Delta hospitals significantly fell from 3.6% in 2012 to 1.1% in 2013 and reached 0.2% in 2014, while the unadjusted total margin for non-Delta hospitals remained about 5.3% from 2012 through 2014. After adjusting hospital and community characteristics, the difference in financial performance between Delta and non-Delta remained significant.

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Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Emergency Care, Health Care Systems, Hospital Readmissions, Primary Care / 03.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Roberta Capp MD Assistant Professor Director for Care Transitions in the Department of Emergency Medicine University of Colorado School of Medicine Medical Director of Colorado Access Medicaid Aurora Colorado     MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Medicaid clients are at highest risk for utilizing the hospital system due to barriers in accessing outpatient services and social determinants. We have found that providing care management services improves primary care utilization, which leads to better chronic disease management and reductions in emergency department use and hospital admissions. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Dermatology, JAMA / 16.08.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kyle T. Amber, MD Department of Dermatology UC Irvine Health Irvine, CA 92697-2400  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The use of IVIg has been shown in randomized controlled trials to be safe and highly effective in the treatment of both pemphigus and bullous pemphigoid. Despite its efficacy, its cost remains a deterrent to its use. Cost studies in the United States point towards IVIg being an overall cost-saving therapy in the treatment of  Autoimmune Blistering Diseases when compared to traditional immunosuppressive treatment due to the decrease in associated infections, complications, and hospitalizations. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, Social Issues / 07.08.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Arlene S. Ash, PhD Department of Quantitative Health Sciences University of Massachusetts Medical School Worcester  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: State Medicaid programs (and other health care purchasers) often contract with several managed care organizations, each of which agrees to address all health care needs for some of their beneficiaries. Suppose a Medicaid program has $5000 to spend, on average, for each of its 1 million beneficiaries. How much should they pay health plan “A” for the particular 100,000 beneficiaries it enrolls? If some group, such as those who are homeless, is much more expensive to care for than the payment, plans that try to provide good care for many such people will go broke. We describe the model now used by MassHealth to ensure that plans get more money for enrolling patients with greater medical and social needs. In this medical-social model, about 10% of total dollars is allocated by factors other than the medical-morbidity risk score. (more…)