Should the US adopt global budgets for hospitals? Have some states done this already?

While I leave the answer to the first question for another day, the answer to the second question is ‘yes’. Done, Herring and Wu (2019) explain’s Maryland’s approach to global capitation payments for hospitals covering both inpatient and outpatient hospital services. Maryland is the only state that still operates an all‐payer rate‐setting system for hospitals,…

Family knows best

Is caregiving by family members superior to paid home health caregiving? According to a paper by Coe et al. (2019), the answer is ‘yes’. We find that some family involvement in home‐based care significantly decreases health‐care utilization: lower likelihood of emergency room use, Medicaid‐financed inpatient days, any Medicaid hospital expenditures, and fewer months with Medicaid‐paid…

Trends in hospital consolidation

The National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) has some nice slides describing trends in hospital consolidation. First, we see a trend of increased hospitalizations over time. Further, these mergers are not small. In 49% of cases, the acquired (i.e., smaller) hospital has revenue of >$100m and in 19% of cases the acquired hospitals has…

Is there a physician available?

According to research by Leech et al. (2018), the answer may depend on whether or not you are black or white. Compared to the control group, “Black” auditors were less likely to be told an office was accepting new patients and were more likely to experience both withholding behaviors and misattributions about public insurance. The…

Is the hospital readmissions reduction program bad for patients?

The answer is ‘perhaps’ according to a new paper by Wadhera et al. (2018). They use data from 2005 to 2015, and apply an inverse probability–weighted 30-day and 45-day post-discharge mortality measure stratified by whether there was an associated readmission. They examine admissions for acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, and pneumonia. Among Medicare beneficiaries, the HRRP…