Health Services Research & Development

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Jung HY, Li Q, Rahman M, Mor V. Medicare Advantage enrollees' use of nursing homes: trends and nursing home characteristics. The American journal of managed care. 2018 Aug 1; 24(8):e249-e256.
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Abstract: OBJECTIVES: To examine temporal trends in the prevalence of nursing home (NH) patients participating in Medicare Advantage (MA) and to identify the characteristics of both these patients and the NHs that provide care for them. STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. METHODS: Data sources included the Medicare enrollment file, Minimum Data Set, and facility-level data from the Certification and Survey Provider Enhanced Reporting system. Longitudinal trends of NH use by MA enrollees were examined over the period 2000 to 2013 and logistic regression models were used to identify facility characteristics associated with having a high proportion of MA patients. RESULTS: The proportion of MA enrollees in NHs more than doubled between 2000 and 2013, increasing 125% during this period. Notable differences in facility characteristics were found between NHs that serve high proportions of MA enrollees and other NHs. High-MA NHs tended to be larger facilities affiliated with chains. These NHs also had better quality indicators, such as higher staffing levels, lower use of antipsychotics, and lower odds of rehospitalization. Additionally, high-MA NHs were more likely to be in counties with higher Medicare managed care penetration and less market concentration. CONCLUSIONS: MA plans may be selectively contracting with NHs, as evidenced by the larger shares of MA patients who have been placed in facilities with better performance on quality measures. This may reflect MA plans concentrating enrollees in specific facilities and building "networks" of postacute and long-term care providers that provide better and more efficient care.