Can restrictions on reimbursement for anti-ulcer drugs decrease Medicaid pharmacy costs without increasing hospitalizations?
OBJECTIVE: To examine the impact of a policy restricting reimbursement for Medicaid anti-ulcer drugs on anti-ulcer drug use and peptic-related hospitalizations. DATA SOURCES/STUDY SETTING: In addition to U.S. Census Bureau data, all of the following from Florida: Medicaid anti-ulcer drug claims data, 1989-1993; Medicaid eligibility data, 1989-1993; and acute care nonfederal hospital discharge abstract data (Medicaid and non-Medicaid), 1989-1993. STUDY DESIGN: In this observational study, a Poisson multiple regression model was used to compare changes, after policy implementation, in Medicaid reimbursement for prescription anti-ulcer drugs as well as hospitalization rates between pre- and post-implementation periods in Medicaid versus non-Medicaid patients hospitalized with peptic ulcer disease. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Following policy implementation, the rate of Medicaid reimbursement for anti-ulcer drugs decreased 33 percent (p < .001). No associated increase occurred in the rate of Medicaid peptic-related hospitalizations. CONCLUSIONS: Florida's policy restricting Medicaid reimbursement for anti-ulcer drugs was associated with a substantial reduction in outpatient anti-ulcer drug utilization without any significant increase in the rate of hospitalization for peptic-related conditions. (+info)
Mixed signals: public policy and the future of health care R&D.
The incentives facing health care research and development (R&D) are influenced by the ambiguous signals sent by private and public insurance decisions affecting the use of, and payments for, existing technologies. Increasingly, that uncertainty is exacerbated by confusion over technologies' impact on health care costs, how costs are to be measured, and the social difficulty of determining medical "need" for purposes of insurance coverage. R&D executives appear to believe that "major" advances are more likely to win such coverage and thus to be profitable. The products that result, therefore, may make the current policy dilemma of cost containment versus service restriction more acute rather than less so. If the aim of policy is to cut costs, innovative remedies are necessary. (+info)
Containing health costs in the Americas.
In recent years, a series of policy measures affecting both demand and supply components of health care have been adopted in different Latin American and Caribbean countries, as well as in Canada and the United States. In applying these measures various objectives have been pursued, among them: to mobilize additional resources to increase operating budgets; to reduce unnecessary utilization of health services and consumption of pharmaceuticals; to control increasing production costs; and to contain the escalation of health care expenditures. In terms of demand management, some countries have established cost-recovery programmes in an attempt to offset declining revenues. These measures have the potential to generate additional operating income in public facilities, particularly if charges are levied on hospital care. However, only scant information is available on the effects of user charges on demand, utilization, or unit costs. In terms of supply management, corrective measures have concentrated on limiting the quantity and the relative prices of different inputs and outputs. Hiring freezes, salary caps, limitations on new construction and equipment, use of drug lists, bulk procurement of medicines and vaccines, and budget ceilings are among the measures utilized to control production costs in the health sector. To moderate health care expenditures, various approaches have been followed to subject providers to 'financial discipline'. Among them, new reimbursement modalities such as prospective payment systems offer an array of incentives to modify medical practice. Cost-containment efforts have also spawned innovations in the organization and delivery of health services. Group plans have been established on the basis of prepaid premiums to provide directly much or all health care needs of affiliates and their families. The issue of intrasectorial co-ordination, particularly between ministries of health and social security institutions, has much relevance for cost containment. In various countries, large-scale reorganization processes have been undertaken to eliminate costly duplications of resources, personnel, and services that resulted from the multiplicity of providers in the public subsector. Given the pluralistic character of the region's health systems, an important challenge for policy-makers is to find ways to redefine the role of state intervention in health from the simple provision of services to one that involves the 'management' of health care in the entire sector. (+info)
The effect of type of hospital and health insurance on hospital length of stay in Irbid, North Jordan.
The study aimed at examining the effects of type of hospital and health insurance status on hospital length of stay for three identified medical and surgical conditions. Medical records of 520 patients for the year 1991 were reviewed in one public and one private hospital. Comparison of hospital length of stay for the private (n = 185) versus public sector patients (n = 335) was carried out. The effect of presence of health insurance (n = 189) and the lack of it (n = 325) was also studied. It was found that the average length of stay in the public hospital was significantly longer than the private one (3.3 versus 2.7 days). In addition, insured patients had significantly longer hospital length of stay (3.3 versus 3.0 days). The results of the multi-variate analysis showed that after socioeconomic factors and clinical conditions of patients were adjusted for, the influence of hospital type and health insurance on hospital length of stay was about one day. The paper also discusses the need to base hospital cost-containment strategies on studies of hospital behaviour and performance. (+info)
An innovative approach to reducing medical care utilization and expenditures.
In a retrospective study, we assessed the impact on medical utilization and expenditures of a multicomponent prevention program, the Maharishi Vedic Approach to Health (MVAH). We compared archival data from Blue Cross/Blue Shield Iowa for MVAH (n = 693) with statewide norms for 1985 through 1995 (n = 600,000) and with a demographically matched control group (n = 4,148) for 1990, 1991, 1994, and 1995. We found that the 4-year total medical expenditures per person in the MVAH group were 59% and 57% lower than those in the norm and control groups, respectively; the 11-year mean was 63% lower than the norm. The MVAH group had lower utilization and expenditures across all age groups and for all disease categories. Hospital admission rates in the control group were 11.4 times higher than those in the MVAH group for cardiovascular disease, 3.3 times higher for cancer, and 6.7 times higher for mental health and substance abuse. The greatest savings were seen among MVAH patients older than age 45, who had 88% fewer total patients days compared with control patients. Our results confirm previous research supporting the effectiveness of MVAH for preventing disease. Our evaluation suggests that MVAH can be safely used as a cost-effective treatment regimen in the managed care setting. (+info)
Economic winners and losers after introduction of an effective new therapy depend on the type of payment system.
An effective therapy for a costly illness has economic consequences. There may also be differences between provider costs and payer costs and initial versus long-term costs; costs may also vary with the reimbursement scheme. Consider the case of an effective therapy to prevent restenosis after coronary angioplasty. Assume that the initial provider cost of angioplasty is $12,000 and that restenosis within 6 months results in repeat angioplasty in 20% of cases, with a follow-up cost of $2,400, or $14,400 total. Assume that a therapy costs $1,000 per angioplasty and decreases restenosis by 50%, resulting in repeat angioplasty in 10% of cases. This will result in an initial cost of $13,000 and a follow-up cost of $1,300, or $14,300 total. The total societal costs will be -$100, a slight savings. Thus, the $1,100 cost of therapy is offset by reduced costs associated with restenosis, and the societal costs are almost neutral. Assume that under fee for service providers charge costs plus 10% and that without the new therapy either a package price or a capitated system is revenue neutral. Changes in costs resulting from therapy to prevent restenosis are as follows (plus sign indicates cost or loss; minus sign indicates savings or profit): [table: see text] Under fee for service, the payer takes the risks, and the economic consequences to providers are minimal. The situation is reversed under capitation. For whoever takes the risk, there is an initial loss to pay for the therapy, but a long-term gain due to less restenosis. Under package pricing, the providers lose because of the cost of therapy and fewer procedures, while the payers gain. A new therapy, even if it is revenue neutral to society overall, may have considerable economic consequences, which vary with time and with the different perspectives of providers and payers. (+info)
Continuous quality improvement decreases length of stay and adverse events: a case study in an interventional cardiology program.
A study was performed to assess the effectiveness of continuous quality improvement in achieving a better quality of care for patients undergoing coronary interventions. Increasing utilization of new coronary interventional devices has incurred a higher incidence of complications, prolonged hospital stay, and related costs. Using a clinical information system, we adopted continuous quality improvement to control the incidence of complications and postprocedural length of stay. Multiple regression analysis and a matched case-control study were performed to detect complications related to postprocedural length of stay and their causes among 342 patients. The results led to the modification of the postprocedural heparin anticoagulation protocol, which was followed by the introduction of a ticlopidine-based poststent anticoagulation regimen. Two sequential groups of patients (n = 261, n = 266) were selected to compare postprocedural length of stay and frequency of complications with those for the first group. Adjustments were made for patients and procedural characteristics through stratification and multiple regression methods. Blood transfusion was the most important predictor of prolonged hospital stay (partial R2 = 0.26, P < 0.01). A high level of postprocedural anticoagulation and intracoronary stent use were significantly associated with blood transfusion (P = 0.01, P = 0.02, respectively). The comparison among the three groups showed that heparin protocol change reduced only postprocedural length of stay (P < 0.001) for patients without stents, whereas the stent change in anticoagulation protocol significantly reduced both transfusion and hospital stay for patients with stents (P < 0.001, P < 0.05, respectively). Continuous quality improvement based on clinical information is promising to control both complications and hospital costs. Physician involvement is necessary throughout the process. (+info)
Diabetes management: current diagnostic criteria, drug therapies, and state legislation.
The policies, standards, guidelines, and criteria that each member of the healthcare team uses to assist in the delivery of comprehensive healthcare are constantly being defined and redefined. This article has discussed many of those changes as they relate to diabetes management. The entire healthcare team must have a working knowledge of these changes so that they can continue to deliver the best possible care to patients with diabetes. Improvements in quality of life, decreases in mortality and morbidity, and subsequent declines in healthcare costs will benefit both individual patients and society. The profession of pharmacy has realized the need for additional education and training in managing the patient with diabetes. Many colleges of pharmacy, as well as companies in the pharmaceutical industry, are offering diabetes certification and diabetes disease management programs to pharmacists to enhance their ability to manage these patients (Lyons T, Gourley DR, unpublished data, 1997. Similar efforts in diabetes management have been made in other health professions as well, such as nursing. (+info)