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Evaluating a Care Management Program for Dual-Eligible Beneficiaries: Evidence from Rhode Island.

Tucher EL, McHugh JP, Thomas KS, Wallack AR, Meyers DJ. Evaluating a Care Management Program for Dual-Eligible Beneficiaries: Evidence from Rhode Island. Population health management. 2023 Feb 6.

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As health systems attempt to contain utilization and costs, care management programs are proliferating. However, there are mixed findings on their impact. In 2018, Rhode Island initiated a care management program for dually eligible Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries at high risk of hospitalization or institutionalization. The objective of this study is to evaluate the association between health care utilization and costs and care management for dual-eligible participants (? = 169). The authors employed an interrupted time series analysis of administrative claims data using the Rhode Island All Payer Claims Database, which includes data from all major payers in the state, for 11 quarters (January 1, 2017 until September 1, 2019). On average, participants were younger (46.2% were 19-64 years of age vs. 41.9% of non-participants), female (71% vs. 62.6% of non-participants), and had a higher comorbidity burden (more commonly had anemia, atrial fibrillation, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, depression, diabetes, heart failure, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, and stroke). Participation was associated with significantly fewer hospital admissions (118 fewer admissions per 1000 admissions per quarter; 95% confidence interval [CI] -11 to -22), and a reduction in Medicaid ($1841 less spent per quarter, 95% CI -2407 to -1275) and total ($2570 less spent per quarter; 95% CI -$4645 to -$495) costs. Participation was not significantly associated with a change in Emergency Department (ED) visits, preventable ED visits, Skilled Nursing Facility stays, or Medicare costs. These results suggest that targeted care management programs may provide dual-eligible beneficiaries with needed services while diverting inefficient health care utilization.

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