(1/437) Challenges in securing access to care for children.

Congressional approval of Title XXI of the Social Security Act, which created the State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), is a significant public effort to expand health insurance to children. Experience with the Medicaid program suggests that eligibility does not guarantee children's enrollment or their access to needed services. This paper develops an analytic framework and presents potential indicators to evaluate CHIP's performance and its impact on access, defined broadly to include access to health insurance and access to health services. It also presents options for moving beyond minimal monitoring to an evaluation strategy that would help to improve program outcomes. The policy considerations associated with such a strategy are also discussed.  (+info)

(2/437) Prepaid capitation versus fee-for-service reimbursement in a Medicaid population.

Utilization of health resources by 37,444 Medicaid recipients enrolled in a capitated health maintenance organization was compared with that of 227,242 Medicaid recipients enrolled in a traditional fee-for-service system over a 1-year period (1983-1984) in the state of Kentucky. Primary care providers in the capitated program had financial incentives to reduce downstream costs like specialist referral, emergency room use, and hospitalizations. The average number of physician visits was similar for both groups (4.47/year in the capitated program; 5.09/year in the fee-for-service system). However, the average number of prescriptions (1.9 versus 4.9 per year), average number of hospital admissions per recipient (0.11 versus 0.22 per year), and average number of hospital days per 1,000 recipients (461 versus 909 per year) were 5% to 60% lower in the capitated group than in the fee-for-service group. The Citicare capitated program resulted in a dramatic reduction in healthcare resource utilization compared with the concurrent fee-for-service system for statewide Medicaid recipients.  (+info)

(3/437) "Carving out" conditions from global capitation rates: protecting high-cost patients, physicians, and health plans in a managed care environment.

The purposes of this study were (1) to develop a method for identifying individuals with high-cost medical conditions, (2) to determine the percentage of healthcare spending they represent, and (3) to explore policy implications of "carving out" their care from managed care capitation. Annual payments over a 2-year period to enrollees of three health plans--a traditional managed care organization, and a state Medicaid program--were determined by using a cross-sectional analysis of insurance claims data. The main outcome measures were the number of enrollees with total annual payments in excess of $25,000 and the contribution of these high-cost enrollees to each health plan's total costs. Forty-one groups of diagnosis and procedure codes representing a combination of acute and chronic conditions were included on the list of carve-out conditions. Pulmonary insufficiency and respiratory failure together accounted for the largest number of high-cost individuals in each health plan. Solid organ and bone marrow transplants, AIDS, and most malignancies that required high-dose chemotherapy were also important. The carve-out list identified more than one third of high-cost individuals enrolled in the Medicaid program, approximately 20% of high-cost managed care enrollees, and 10% of high-cost fee-for-service enrollees. These data confirm that it is possible to identify high-cost individuals in health plans by using a carve-out list. Carving out high-cost patients from capitation risk arrangements may protect patients, physicians, and managed care organizations.  (+info)

(4/437) The effect of a Medicaid managed care program on the adequacy of prenatal care utilization in Rhode Island.

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to determine whether adequacy of prenatal care utilization improved after the implementation of a Medicaid managed care program in Rhode Island. METHODS: Rhode Island birth certificate data (1993-1995; n = 37021) were used to analyze pre- and post-program implementation changes in adequacy of prenatal care utilization. Logistic regression models were used to characterize the variation in prenatal care adequacy as a function of both time and the various covariates. RESULTS: Adequacy of prenatal care utilization for Medicaid patients improved significantly after implementation of the program, from 57.1% to 62.1% (odds ratio [OR] = 1.2, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.1, 1.3). After the program was implemented, Medicaid patients who went to private physicians' offices for prenatal care were 1.4 times as likely as before to receive adequate prenatal care (OR = 1.4, 95% CI = 1.2, 1.7). CONCLUSIONS: Unlike many other Medicaid expansions for pregnant women, the RIte Care program in Rhode Island has resulted in significant improvement in adequacy of prenatal care utilization for its enrollees. This improvement was due to specific program interventions that addressed and changed organizational and delivery system barriers to care.  (+info)

(5/437) A conflict of strategies: Medicaid managed care and Medicaid maximization.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the influence of state strategies aimed at increasing federal Medicaid matching dollars on the design of states' Medicaid managed care programs. STUDY DESIGN: Data obtained from the 1996-1997 case studies of 13 states to examine how states have adapted the design of their Medicaid managed care programs in part because of maximization strategies, to accommodate the many roles and responsibilities that Medicaid has assumed over the years. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Our study showed that as states made the shift to managed care, some found that the responsibilities undertaken in part through maximization strategies proved to be in conflict with their Medicaid managed care initiatives. Among other things, the study revealed that most states included provisions that preserved the health care safety net, such as adapting the managed care benefit package and promoting the participation of safety net providers in managed care programs. In addition, most of the study states continued to pay special subsidies to safety net providers, including hospitals and clinics. CONCLUSIONS: States have made real progress in moving a large number of Medicaid beneficiaries into managed care. At the same time, many states have specially crafted their managed care programs to accommodate safety net providers and existing funding mechanisms. By making these adaptations states, in the long run, may compromise the central goals of managed care: controlling costs and improving Medicaid beneficiaries' access to and quality of care.  (+info)

(6/437) Medical records and privacy: empirical effects of legislation.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the effects of state legislation requiring patient informed consent prior to medical record abstraction by external researchers for a specific study. DATA SOURCES/STUDY SETTING: Informed consent responses obtained from November 1997 through April 1998 from members of a Minnesota-based IPA model health plan. STUDY DESIGN: Descriptive case study of consent to gain access to medical records for a pharmaco-epidemiologic study of seizures associated with use of a pain medication that was conducted as part of the FDA's post-marketing safety surveillance program to evaluate adverse events associated with approved drugs. DATA COLLECTION: The informed consent process approved by an institutional review board consisted of three phases: (1) a letter from the health plan's medical director requesting participation, (2) a second mailing to nonrespondents, and (3) a follow-up telephone call to nonrespondents. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Of 140 Minnesota health plan members asked to participate in the medical records study, 52 percent (73) responded and 19 percent (26) returned a signed consent form authorizing access to their records for the study. For 132 study subjects enrolled in five other health plans in states where study-specific consent was not required, health care providers granted access to patient medical records for 93 percent (123) of the members. CONCLUSION: Legislation requiring patient informed consent to gain access to medical records for a specific research study was associated with low participation and increased time to complete that observational study. Efforts to protect patient privacy may come into conflict with the ability to produce timely and valid research to safeguard and improve public health.  (+info)

(7/437) Access to care for the uninsured: is access to a physician enough?

OBJECTIVES: This study examined a private-sector, statewide program (Kentucky Physicians Care) of care for uninsured indigent persons regarding provision of preventive services. METHODS: A survey was conducted of a stratified random sample of 2509 Kentucky adults (811 with private insurance, 849 Medicaid recipients, 849 Kentucky Physicians Care recipients). RESULTS: The Kentucky Physicians Care group had significantly lower rates of receipt of preventive services. Of the individuals in this group, 52% cited cost as the primary reason for not receiving mammography, and 38% had not filled prescribed medicines in the previous year. CONCLUSIONS: Providing free access to physicians fills important needs but is not sufficient for many uninsured patients to receive necessary preventive services.  (+info)

(8/437) Medicaid managed care payment rates in 1998.

This paper reports on a new survey of state Medicaid managed care payment rates. We collected rate data for Medicaid's Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and poverty-related populations and made adjustments to make the data comparable across states. The results show a slightly more than twofold variation in capitation rates among states, caused primarily by fee-for-service spending levels and demographics. There is a very low correlation between the variation in Medicaid capitation rates among states and the variations in Medicare's adjusted average per capita cost. The data are not sufficient to answer questions about the adequacy of rates but should help to further policy discussions and research.  (+info)