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:5/28/2017)... ... ... HYPERAMS, LLC announced it will perform the inventory liquidation of ... The sale began this week and the inventory is expected to sell quickly. ... medical accessories, including blood pressure cuffs, stethoscopes, CPR masks, as well as blank polos, ...
(Date:5/27/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2017 , ... A May ... who visit a doctor for colds or respiratory issues that are not responsive to ... time pressure on doctors may be largely responsible for the problem both in Canada ...
(Date:5/27/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Most us are familiar with the sound of occasional popping ... Osteoarthritis Initiative shows that certain people who experience consistent joint popping, grating and ... doctors the opportunity to treat patients before the problem becomes pronounced, potentially hedging off ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... May 26, 2017 , ... The ... educational seminar to focus on current legislative activity and the latest regulatory concerns ... 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10, and will continue through Monday, Sept. 11, at ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... May 26, 2017 , ... ... is sharing bold recipes for Memorial Day entertaining that are sure to satisfy ... “Boar’s Head fresh sliced meats and cheeses featured in these refreshingly balanced recipes ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2017)... May 4, 2017  A new tight-tolerance microextrusion ... other highly-engineered materials, is being launched by Natvar, ... been developed in recent years to service a ... surgical applications. More expensive materials such as glass ... tubing due to their ability to consistently hold ...
(Date:5/3/2017)... 3, 2017 A Catheterization Laboratory is ... healthcare facility. Commonly referred to as cath lab, ... diagnostic imaging technology to give physicians visual access ... these spaces, a team of physicians perform life-saving ... coronary intervention, congenital heart defect closure, stenotic heart ...
(Date:5/3/2017)... , May 3, 2017  Getinge, a leading ... to quality enhancement and cost efficiency within healthcare ... study of contemporary practice demonstrating that intra-aortic balloon ... for critically ill patients. The single-center, retrospective, observational ... large volume MEGA ® 50cc intra-aortic balloon ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: