Usual Source of Care Increases Spending

Does having a specialist as your usual source of care (USOC) increase costs? “Among high-cost beneficiaries, the 27.8 percent attributed to a medical specialist as their USOCphysician had U.S.$1,839 greater costs than those attributed to primary care physicians, representing roughly 4 percent of the mean cost of care. Although this may reflect unmeasured patient preferences…

Long-term care hospitals (LTCHs)

Today I review how Medicare pays for long-term care hospitals (LTCHs) based on information from MedPAC’s 2011 Report to Congress. LTCHs furnish care to patients with clinically complex problems—such as multiple acute and chronic conditions—who need hospital-level care for relatively extended periods. These facilities can be freestanding or colocated with other hospitals as hospitals within…