Use of out-of-plan services by Medicare members of HIP.
Use of out-of-plan services in 1972 by Medicare members of the Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York (HIP) is examined in terms of the demographic and enrollment characteristics of out-of-plan users, types of services received outside the plan, and the relationship of out-of-plan to in-plan use. Users of services outside the plan tended to be more seriously ill and more frequently hospitalized than those receiving all of their services within the plan. The costs to the SSA of providing medical care to HIP enrollees are compared with analogous costs for non-HIP beneficiaries, and the implications for the organization and financing of health services for the aged are discussed. (+info)
User charges for health care: a review of recent experience.
This paper reviews recent experiences with increases in user charges and their effect on the utilization of health care. Evidence from several countries of differences in utilization between rich and poor is presented, and recent accounts of sharp, and often sustained, drops in utilization following fee increases, are presented and discussed. Fee income, appropriately used, represents a small but significant additional resource for health care. Recent national experiences appear to have concentrated on achieving cost recovery objectives, rather than on improving service quality and health outcomes. Appraisal of financing changes must be linked to probable health outcomes. Successful large-scale experience in linking these two is in short supply. (+info)
Introducing health insurance in Vietnam.
Like many other countries Vietnam is trying to reform its health care system through the introduction of social insurance. The small size of the formal sector means that the scope for compulsory payroll insurance is limited and provinces are beginning to experiment with ways of encouraging people to buy voluntary insurance. Methods of contracting between hospitals and insurance centres are being devised. These vary in complexity and there is a danger that those based on fee for service will encourage excessive treatment for those insured. It is important that the national and provincial government continue to maintain firm control over funding while also ensuring that a substantial and targeted general budget subsidy is provided for those unable to make contributions. (+info)
Differences in physician compensation for cardiovascular services by age, sex, and race.
The purpose was to determine whether physicians receive substantially less compensation from patient groups (women, older patients, and nonwhite patients) that are reported to have low rates of utilization of cardiovascular services. Over an 18-month period we collected information on payments to physicians by 3,194 consecutive patients who underwent stress testing an 833 consecutive patients who underwent percutaneous coronary angioplasty at the Yale University Cardiology Practice. Although the charges for procedures were not related to patient characteristics, there were large and significant differences in payment to physicians based on age, sex, and race. For example, physicians who performed percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty received at least $2,500 from, or on behalf of, 72% of the patients 40 to 64 years old, 22% of the patients 65 to 74 years old, and 3% of the patients 75 years and older (P < 0.001); from 49% of the men and 28% of the women (P < 0.001); and 42% of the whites and 31% of the nonwhites (P < 0.001). Similar differences were observed for stress testing. These associations were largely explained by differences in insurance status. (+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)
Health outcomes and managed care: discussing the hidden issues.
Too often the debate over health outcomes and managed care has glossed over a series of complex social, political, and ethical issues. Exciting advances in outcomes research have raised hopes for logical medical reform. However, science alone will not optimize our patients' health, since value judgements are necessary and integral parts of attempts to improve health outcomes within managed care organizations. Therefore, to form healthcare policy that is both fair and efficient, we must examine the fundamental values and ethical concerns that are imbedded in our efforts to shape care. We must openly discuss the hidden issues including: (1) trade-offs between standardization of care and provider-patient autonomy; (2) effects of financial incentives on physicians' professionalism; (3) opportunity costs inherent in the design of insurance plans; (4) responsibilities of managed care plans for the health of the public; (5) judicious and valid uses of data systems; and (6) the politics of uncertainty. (+info)
Empiric examination of physician behavior in a changing healthcare market.
We hypothesized that, in the current healthcare environment, medical providers have strong economic incentives to introduce new technology and treat patients more extensively. We examined physician reimbursement for medical procedures in Utah in the early 1990s, a period of increasing utilization of managed care methods, using a cross-section time series and a supply side model to analyze how physician behavior changed during this period of time. Our findings suggest that physicians have acted to maintain their revenue by requesting reimbursement for more procedures as the reimbursement level per procedure decreased. We conclude that increased volatility in reimbursement levels and increased adjudication pressure from payers provide signals to physicians to act strategically to protect their revenue stream. (+info)
Prevalence and cost of hospitalization for gastrointestinal complications related to peptic ulcers with bleeding or perforation: comparison of two national databases.
The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence and cost of hospitalization for upper gastrointestinal complications, including peptic ulcers with hemorrhage or perforation. Upper gastrointestinal complications and corresponding economic data were obtained from two sources. The first was a 20% sample of all community hospital discharges (about 6 million per year) from 11 states for 1991 and 1992 Hospital Cost Utilization Project; HCUP-3). The second source of data was a claims database for employees of large US corporations and their dependents for 1992, 1993, and 1994 (about 3.5 million covered lives per year; MarketScan). A group of ICD-9 codes for the diagnosis of peptic and gastroduodenal ulcers with bleeding or perforation were used to identify hospital admissions because of upper gastrointestinal complications. Similar patterns were observed across the MarketScan and HCUP-3 databases regarding hospitalization with diagnoses related to gastrointestinal complications identified according to the ICD-9 codes. The average age of patients with upper gastrointestinal complications was 66 years in the HCUP-3 database and 52 years in the MarketScan database. The average annual rates of upper gastrointestinal complications as a primary or secondary diagnosis were 6.4 and 6.7 per 1000 discharges for 1991 and 1992, respectively (HCUP-3), and 4.3, 4.2, and 4.9 per 1000 admissions for 1992, 1993, and 1994, respectively (MarketScan). The average length of stay for upper gastrointestinal complications as a primary diagnosis was 7.8 days in 1991 and 7.5 days in 1992 (HCUP-3) and 6.1, 5.1, and 5.1 days in 1992, 1993, and 1994, respectively (MarketScan). The national average total charge for hospitalization for gastrointestinal problems as a primary diagnosis was $12,970 in 1991 and $14,294 in 1992 (HCUP-3). The average total reimbursement for hospitalizations related to upper gastrointestinal problems was $15,309 in 1992, $12,987 in 1993, and $13,150 in 1994 (MarketScan). Hospital admissions for upper gastrointestinal complications are expensive. The rate and cost per admission are higher for the older population. The results on the elements covered by both databases are consistent. Therefore the databases complement each other on the type of information abstracted. (+info)