Center for Studying Health System Change

Providing Insights that Contribute to Better Health Policy

Advanced Search Instructions

You can refine your search with the following modifiers:

* Use an to perform a wildcard search.Example: prescript* would return "prescription", "prescriptions" etc.
"" Use quotes to match a phrase.Example: "prescription drug" only returns results where the words are next to each other.
+ Use a plus sign to perform a search where the additional term MUST be part of the page.Example: prescription +drug
- Use a minus sign to perform a search where the additional term SHOULD NOT be part of the page.Example: prescription -drug
< > Use a < > sign to perform a search where the additional term should be of greater or lesser importance in the search.Example: prescription >drug
Find pages with the word precription with additional importance for the word drug.
( ) Use parentheses to group different search terms together.Example: prescription (+medicare -drug)
 

Insurance Coverage & Costs Costs The Uninsured Private Coverage Employer Sponsored Individual Public Coverage Medicare Medicaid and SCHIP Access to Care Quality & Care Delivery Health Care Markets Issue Briefs Data Bulletins Research Briefs Policy Analyses Community Reports Journal Articles Other Publications Surveys Site Visits Design and Methods Data Files


Follow the Money: Factors Associated with the Cost of Treating High-Cost Medicare Beneficiaries

Feb. 11, 2011
Health Services Research, published online before print
James D. Reschovsky, Jack Hadley, Cynthia B. Saiontz-Martinez, Ellyn R. Boukus

Objective. To identify factors associated with the cost of treating high-cost Medicare beneficiaries.

Data Sources. A national sample of 1.6 million elderly, Medicare beneficiaries linked to 2004–2005 Community Tracking Study Physician Survey respondents and local market data from secondary sources.

Study Design. Using 12 months of claims data from 2005 to 2006, the sample was divided into predicted high-cost (top quartile) and lower cost beneficiaries using a risk-adjustment model. For each group, total annual standardized costs of care were regressed on beneficiary, usual source of care physician, practice, and market characteristics.

Principal Findings. Among high-cost beneficiaries, health was the predominant predictor of costs, with most physician and practice and many market factors (including provider supply) insignificant or weakly related to cost. Beneficiaries whose usual physician was a medical specialist or reported inadequate office visit time, medical specialist supply, provider for-profit status, care fragmentation, and Medicare fees were associated with higher costs.

Conclusions. Health reform policies currently envisioned to improve care and lower costs may have small effects on high-cost patients who consume most resources. Instead, developing interventions tailored to improve care and lowering cost for specific types of complex and costly patients may hold greater potential for “bending the cost curve.”

Access to this article is available by clicking here. (.pdf)

 

 

 

 


 

Back to Top