Navigation Links
Population health plays a bigger role in geographic differences in Medicare spending
Date:5/12/2010

FAIRFAX, Va.In a study conducted by researchers from George Mason University and the Urban Institute, it was determined that variations in Medicare beneficiaries' health across geographic areas accounts for a significant share of Medicare costs that vary widely by region. The study of geographical differences in Medicare spending was published today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

"A substantial body of prior research has identified variation across geographic areas in how much Medicare spends per beneficiaryin the highest cost areas Medicare spends about 50 percent more per beneficiary than in the lowest cost areas, even after adjusting for basic demographics such as age, gender and race, and differences in medical care practices," says Jack Hadley, professor in the College of Health and Human Services' Department of Health Administration and Policy at Mason and senior author of the study.

The researchers analyzed data on Medicare spending by 6,725 elderly Medicare patients collected by the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey from 2000-2002. They estimated the differences in Medicare spending between high and low cost geographic areas and examined the role of beneficiaries' health in explaining these variations. They measured health using an expanded set of criteria that included both pre-existing conditions and changes in health throughout the year, and also controlled for patients' demographic characteristics, family income, supplemental insurance coverage, and area-level measures of health care supply.

"Geographic differences in Medicare spending are not necessarily evidence of inefficiency in health care. Our study shows that an individual's health explains almost one-third of the difference in Medicare spending per beneficiary between the highest and lowest cost areas, while previous studies have assigned a smaller role to health measures," says Stephen Zuckerman, a senior fellow in the Urban Institute's Health Policy Center and the lead author of the study.

"Our findings indicate that the conventional wisdom about the magnitude of unexplained geographic differences in Medicare spending may be overstated and that policies based on these misperceptions may reward or penalize areas inappropriately."

Mean Medicare spending per beneficiary ranged 52 percent from $4,721 in the least expensive regions to $7,183 in the most expensive regions. By expanding the set of health measures in their analysis, the researchers found that 29 percent of the difference was based on health and only 33 percent remained unexplained. These results suggest that much of the observed geographic differences found in previous research were due to patients' demographic characteristics and health status rather than to inefficiencies in health care treatment.

"Medicare spending was $484 billion in 2009. We all have a stake in providing medical care as efficiently as possible in order to free up resources for other pressing social and personal needs," says Hadley. "By suggesting that geographic differences in Medicare spending may not be the best indicators of where inefficiency lies, this study may help redirect the search for improved efficiency to studies of the comparative effectiveness of alternative treatments for specific diseases and conditions."


'/>"/>

Contact: Marjorie Musick
mmusick@gmu.edu
703-993-8781
George Mason University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Researchers identify barriers to HPV vaccination uptake in low-income populations
2. Lexi-Comp Focused on Improving Patient Communication in Healthcare Institutions Treating Diverse Patient Populations
3. Rate of Confirmed AIDS in Prison 2.5 Times the Rate in the U.S. General Population
4. Does Glutathione-S-transferase associate with gastrointestinal cancer in Korean population?
5. Cancer survival disparities for most minority populations increase as cancers become more treatable
6. Diabetes Population to Double, Diabetes Costs to Nearly Triple, in 25 Years, New Study Shows
7. Bill & Melinda Gates, Asian Parliamentary Group, Win 2010 United Nations Population Award
8. New Study on Elder Care Marketing Reveals Fresh Insights in Targeting Aging Population
9. Investigators examine colorectal cancer screening methods among diverse populations
10. Physical Therapist, Money Launderer and Patient Recruiter Plead Guilty in Connection With Multiple Detroit Health Care Fraud Schemes
11. Happy Feet are Healthy Feet: Common Sense Tips on Taking Care of Your Feet to Survive the Holiday Season
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... On Tuesday, April 26, 2016 members of the ... signature of Gov. Nathan Deal on SB 258, the “Rural Health Care Relief” Bill. ... a 70% tax credit to individuals and corporations which donate directly to a “rural ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... 29, 2016 , ... Conditions were ideal for Global Lyme Alliance’s (GLA) 2nd ... sunny skies, a light breeze and temperatures in the 60s. Over 400 runners, walkers ... and Walk and 1-mile walk were held to increase awareness about Lyme disease ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... PA (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... announced that student team BioCellection won the $30,000 Perlman Grand Prize of the ... Prize, the Gloeckner Undergraduate Award, the Michelson People’s Choice Award, and the Committee ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... 29, 2016 , ... Melanoma is the deadliest type of skin cancer. Although only about 1 ... skin cancer deaths. More than 10,000 people are expected to die of melanoma this year. ... is the one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in young women. A recent breakthrough ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... , ... April 29, 2016 , ... For those who ... the meal to miss. That was among the many new lifestyle diet tips offered ... recent Sharon Kleyne Hour® Power of Water® radio show. Bonny and Lawrence noted that ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016   Click here ... Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO), the nation,s largest independent ... a definitive agreement to acquire Valley Campus Pharmacy, ... ("TNH"), a leading specialty pharmacy that provides individualized ... California . In 2015, TNH generated approximately ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... BURLINGAME, Calif. , April 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... first-ever widely accessible breast and ovarian cancer risk ... cancer panel analyzing 30 genes that highly impact ... and women. Available today, the Color Test analyzes ... pancreatic, prostate, stomach, and uterine cancers. The Color ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... April 28, 2016 Treato ... on healthcare, announced today that it has been named ... Cool Vendor in Life Sciences, 2016, Stephen ...  The report focuses on life-science- oriented analytics, algorithms and ... patients and doctors, confirm medication ingestion, and analyze unstructured ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: