Quality of Care at Teaching Hospitals

Medicare pays higher reimbursement to teaching hospitals through indirect medical education (IME) payments to hospitals that train a high share of residents. IME inflate standard reimbursements in an attempt to compensate hospitals for these additional costs. Medicare also pay hospitals directly for some cost of training residents through the graduate medical education (GME). A key…

Did the Oncology Care Model produce cost savings?

The answer is ‘yes’, but the magnitude of these savings are relatively small and more than offset by additional OCM program costs. Keating et al. (2021) writes: In this exploratory difference-in-differences study of Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries with cancer undergoing chemotherapy (483 310 beneficiaries with 987 332 episodes treated at 201 OCM participating practices and 557 354 beneficiaries with…

On behavioral change, health and age

A Health Affairs article (Meyer 2021) discusses the potential benefits of Medicare Diabetes Prevention Programs (MDPP). MDPP aims to reduce patient weight and prevent patients from becoming diabetic. Commenting on her Medicare clientele enrolled in the program, one instructor noted: “I’ve seen a lot of Medicare people do really well with the program because they…

CMMI and its revised strategy

Created by Section 3021 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI; aka The CMS Innovation Center) has been tasked with creating new reimbursement strategies to improve quality and decrease costs. Over the past decade, CMMI has tested over 50 new payment models, and in just the last 3…

GAO Report on MIPS

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) last week published a report evaluating the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). MIPS is an approach for CMS to pay physicians caring for Medicare beneficiaries based not just on volume but on value. MIPS evaluates provider value along four dimensions: (1) quality, (2) improvement activities, (3) promoting interoperability, and (4)…

2021 Medicare Trustees Report

The 2021 Medicare Trustees Report–formerly known as the “Annual Report of the Boards of Trustees of the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund and the Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund“–had some grim news. Expenditures ($925.8 billion) exceeded revenues ($899.9 billion) in 2020. More worrying, the estimated depletion date for the Medicare (i.e., Hospital Insurance) trust…

Impact of Medicare Pay-for-Performance Program for Surgical Procedures on Cost and Outcomes

In 2008, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) implemented the Hospital-Acquired Conditions Present on Admission (HAC-POA) program. The goal of this program was to reduce the frequency of high-cost complications among Medicare beneficiaries. The mandatory program penalized hospitals as it would no longer reimburse them for treating of preventable complications that developed during…