Features of Health Care Interventions Associated With Reduced Services and Spending

Features of Health Care Interventions Associated With Reduced Services and Spending

Published: Nov 15, 2021
Publisher: The American Journal of Managed Care, vol. 27, issue 11

Randall Brown

James Derzon


This study examines 14 independent and diverse health care interventions funded under the second round of Health Care Innovation Awards by CMS to determine if any organizational, model, or implementation features were strongly associated with the programs’ estimated impacts on total expenditures, hospitalizations, or emergency department visits.

Study Design

We estimated program impacts using awardee-specific difference-in-differences models based on Medicare and Medicaid enrollment and claims data for treatment and matched comparison groups from 2012 to 2018.


We used 2 analytic approaches to identify program features associated with favorable impacts. The first method identified program characteristics that were common among programs that had estimated reductions in costs and service use and uncommon among those that did not. The second approach compared median impacts among awardees with a given distinguishing feature with median impacts among awardees that lacked the characteristic.


Of the 23 program features examined, 7 were associated with favorable estimated impacts: 3 intervention components (behavioral health, telehealth, and health information technology) and 4 program design and organizational characteristics (having prior experience implementing similar programs, targeting patients with substantial nonmedical needs in addition to medical problems, being focused on individual patient care rather than transforming provider practice, and using nonclinical staff as frontline providers of the intervention).


Innovative health care service delivery models with 2 or more of these 7 identified features were more likely than programs without them to reduce Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries’ needs for costly health care services.

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