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The effect of Medicaid nursing home reimbursement policy on Medicare hospice use in nursing homes

The effect of Medicaid nursing home reimbursement policy on Medicare hospice use in nursing homes

Medical Care 49(9): 797-802

To understand how changes in Medicaid nursing home (NH) reimbursement policy and rates affect a NH's approach to end-of-life care (ie, its use of hospice). This longitudinal study merged US NH decedents' (1999 to 2004) resident assessment data (MDS) with Part A claims data to determine the proportion of a NH's decedents using hospice. Freestanding NHs across the 48 contiguous US states were included. A NH-level analytic file was merged with NH survey (ie, OSCAR) and area resource file data, and with annual data on state Medicaid NH rates, case-mix reimbursement policies, and hospice certificate of need (CON). NH fixed-effect (within) regression analysis examined the effect of changing state policies, controlling for differing time trends in CON and case-mix states and for facility-level and county-level attributes. Models were stratified by urban/rural status. A $10 increase in the Medicaid rate resulted in a 0.41% [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.275, 0.553] increase in hospice use in urban NHs and a 0.37% decrease (95% CI: -0.676, -0.063) in rural NHs not adjacent to urban areas. There was a nonstatistically significant increase in rural NHs adjacent to urban areas. Introduction of case-mix reimbursement resulted in a 2.14% (95% CI: 1.388, 2.896) increase in hospice use in urban NHs, with comparable increases in rural NHs. This study supports and extends previous research by showing changes in Medicaid NH reimbursement policies affect a NH's approach to end-of-life care. It also shows how policy changes can have differing effects depending on a NH's urban/rural status.

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Accession: 056295810

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 21862905

DOI: 10.1097/MLR.0b013e318223c0ae

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