Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Impact of Medicare Advantage on Hospital Admissions

Do patients who enroll in Medicare Advantage go to the hospital less frequently? The answer is yes. However, this fact may not be causal. Patients who enroll in Medicare Advantage are generally younger and healthier than patients who enroll in Medicare’s fee-for-service (FFS) program. A paper by Duggan, Gruber and Vabson (2016) uses a novel […]

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Does Prescription Drug Coverage Save Money?

Many experts have claimed that increasing Medicare beneficiary’s access to prescription drugs through Medicare Part D is cost saving.  Even if it does increase cost, by increasing patient adherence to various prescription drugs, Medicare could prevent certain expensive hospitalizations and emergency room visits. The only problem is that it doesn’t. According to Liu et al. […]

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Incentives for Long-term Care Facilities to Hospitalize Patients

Why are hospitalization rates so high for Medicare beneficiaries living in long-term care facilities (i.e., skilled nursing facilities, nursing facilities, and assisted living facilities)?  The first reason is obvious: they are sick.  If they weren’t, they wouldn’t need to be living in these facilities in the first place.  Hospitalizing sick patients is often necessary.  Unnecessary […]

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