The Impact of a Health Information Technology–Focused Patient-Centered Medical Neighborhood Program Among Medicare Beneficiaries in Primary Care Practices: The Effect on Patient Outcomes and Spending

The Impact of a Health Information Technology–Focused Patient-Centered Medical Neighborhood Program Among Medicare Beneficiaries in Primary Care Practices: The Effect on Patient Outcomes and Spending

Published: Apr 01, 2018
Publisher: Medical Care, vol. 56, no. 4
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Associated Project

HCIA Evaluations: Primary Care Redesign

Time frame: 2013-2017

Prepared for:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation

Authors

Michael Barna

G. Greg Peterson

Timothy Day

Kate Stewart

Lorenzo Moreno

Background

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) tests new models of paying for or delivering health care services and expands models that improve health outcomes while lowering medical spending. CMMI gave TransforMED, a national learning and dissemination contractor, a 3-year Health Care Innovation Award (HCIA) to integrate health information technology systems into physician practices. This paper estimates impacts of TransforMED’s HCIA-funded program on patient outcomes and Medicare parts A and B spending.

Research Design

We compared outcomes for Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) beneficiaries served by 87 treatment practices to outcomes for Medicare FFS beneficiaries served by 286 matched comparison practices, adjusting for differences in outcomes between the 2 groups during a 1-year baseline period. We estimated impacts in 3 evaluation outcome domains: quality-of-care processes, service use, and spending.

Results

We estimated the program led to a 7.1% reduction in inpatient admissions and a 5.7% decrease in the outpatient emergency department visits. However, there was no evidence of statistically significant effects in outcomes in either the quality-of-care processes or spending domains.

Conclusions

These results indicate that TransforMED’s program reduced service use for Medicare FFS beneficiaries, but also show that the program did not have statistically significant favorable impacts in the quality-of-care processes or spending domains. These results suggest that providing practices with population health management and cost-reporting software—along with technical assistance for how to use them—can complement practices’ own patient-centered medical home transformation efforts and add meaningfully to their impacts on service use.

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