A new study by the American Journal of Managed Care finds that Medicare Advantage (MA) beneficiaries use home health less often than fee-for-service (FFS) counterparts.
However, regional factors affected utilization greatly, independent of insurance status. The study used the 2010 and 2011 Outcome and Assessment Information Set to identify all home health episodes begun in 2010 and to measure seven clinical home health outcomes that are defined by CMS for public reporting.
Researchers found that even when adjusting for patient and demographic characteristics, FFS beneficiaries used substantially more home health services. FFS episodes were also 33% longer in duration. About 30% of all Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in an MA program.