Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
  • Publication
    Visits to primary care physicians and to specialists under gatekeeper and point-of-service arrangements
    (Mwc Medical World Communications, Inc, 2000) ; ; ;
    Objective: To assess utilization of ambulatory visits to primary care physicians (PCPs) and to specialists in 2 different managed care models: a closed panel gatekeeper health maintenance organization (HMO) and an open panel point-of-service HMO. Study Design: Retrospective study of patients enrolled in a single managed care organization with 2 distinct product lines: a gatekeeper HMO and a point-of-service HMO. Both plans shared the same physician network. Patients and Methods: The study sample included 16,192 working-age members of the gatekeeper HMO and 36,819 working-age members of the point-of-service HMO. We estimated the number of PCP and specialist visits using negative binomial regression models and predicted the number of visits per year for each person under each HMO type and copayment option. Results: There were more annual visits to PCPs and a greater number of total physician visits in the gatekeeper HMO than in the point-of-service plan. However, we did not observe higher rates of specialist visits in the point-of-service HMO. Conclusion: We found no evidence that direct patient access to specialists leads to higher rates of specialty visits in plans with modest cost-sharing arrangements.
      529
  • Publication
    Where do the sick go? Health insurance and employment in small and large firms
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2006-11) ; ; ;
    Small firms that offer health insurance to their employees may face variable premiums if the firm hires an employee with high-expected health costs. To avoid expensive premium variability, a small firm may attempt to maintain a workforce with low-expected health costs. In addition, workers with high-expected health costs may prefer employment in larger firms with health insurance rather than in smaller firms. This results in employment distortions. We examine the magnitude of these employment distortions in hiring, employment, and separations, using the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey from 1996 to 2001. Furthermore, we examine the effect of state small group health insurance reforms that restrict insurers’ ability to deny coverage and restrict premium variability on employment distortions in small firms relative to large firms. We find that workers with high-expected health cost are less likely to be new hires in small firms that offer health insurance, and are less likely to be employed in insured small firms. However, we find no evidence that state small group health insurance reforms have reduced the extent of these distortions. Estimating the magnitude of employment distortions in insured small firms is essential in refining reforms to the small group health insurance market.
      229
  • Publication
    Where do the sick go? Health insurance and employment in small and large firms
    (Economic Research Initiative on the Uninsured at the University of Michigan, 2005-07) ; ; ;
    Small firms that offer health insurance to their employees may face variable premiums if the firm hires an employee with high-expected health costs. To avoid expensive premium variability, a small firm may attempt to maintain a workforce with low expected health costs. In addition, workers with high-expected health costs may prefer employment in larger firms with health insurance rather than in smaller firms. This results in employment distortions. We examine the magnitude of these employment distortions using the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey from 1996 to 2001. We estimate the magnitude of distortions in hiring, employment, and separations. Furthermore, we examine the effect of state small group health insurance reforms that restrict insurers’ ability to deny coverage and restrict premium variability on employment distortions in small firms relative to large firms. We find that workers with high-expected health cost are less likely to be new hires in small firms that offer health insurance, and are less likely to be employed in insured small firms. However, we find no evidence that state small group health insurance reforms have reduced the extent of these distortions. Estimating the magnitude of employment distortions in insured small firms, and understanding the effect of small group regulation on these distortions is essential in refining reforms to the small group health insurance market.
      492
  • Publication
    Individual health insurance within the family : can subsidies promote family coverage?
    This paper examines the role of price in health insurance coverage decisions within the family to guide policy in promoting whole family coverage. We analyze the factors that affect individual health insurance coverage among families, and explore family decisions about whom to cover and whom to leave uninsured. The analysis uses household data from California combined with abstracted individual health plan benefit and premium data. We find that premium subsidies for individual insurance would increase family coverage; however, their effect likely would be small relative to their implementation cost.
      468
  • Publication
    Do patients bypass rural hospitals? Determinants of inpatient hospital choice in rural California
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2009-01) ;
    Rural hospitals play a crucial role in providing healthcare to rural Americans, a vulnerable and underserved population; however, rural hospitals have faced threats to their financial viability and many have closed as a result. This paper examines the hospital characteristics that are associated with patients choosing rural hospitals, and sheds light on the types of patients who depend on rural hospitals for care and, hence, may be the most impaired by the closure of rural hospitals. Using data from California hospitals, the paper shows that patients were more likely to choose nearby hospitals, larger hospitals, and hospitals that offered more services and technologies. However, even after adjusting for these factors, patients had a propensity to bypass rural hospitals in favor of large urban hospitals. Offering additional services and technologies would increase the share of rural residents choosing rural hospitals only slightly.
      523
  • Publication
    Is the individual market more than a bridge market? An analysis of disenrollment decisions
    The individual insurance market is perceived by many to provide primarily transition coverage, but there is limited research about how long people stay in this market and what affects their disenrollment decisions. We examine these issues using administrative records and survey data for those enrolled in the individual market in California. We conclude that there is less turnover in this market than is commonly believed. We find that economic factors and coverage characteristics are important in the decision to disenroll, but that perceptions about insurance and the health care system also affect this decision.
      521
  • Publication
    Characteristics of eye care practices with managed care contracts
    Objectives: To describe the variation in practice structure, financial arrangements, and utilization and quality management systems for eye care practices with managed care contracts. Study Design: Cross-sectional survey of 88 group and 56 solo eye care practices that contract with 6 health plans affiliated with a national managed care organization. The survey contained modules on practice structure, financial arrangements, utilization management, and quality management. The survey response rate was 85%. Results: Group practices with both ophthalmologists and optometrists were triple the size of ophthalmology-only groups, and 5 times the size of optometry-only groups. Fee-forservice payments were the primary source of group practice revenues, although 60% of groups derived some revenues from capitation payments. Group practices paid their physicians almost exclusively with fee-for-service payments or salary arrangements, with minimal capitation at the individual level. Almost no practices used both capitation and bonuses to compensate providers. Most practices received practice profiles and three fourths were subject to utilization review, which mainly consisted of preauthorization for procedures, tests, or referrals. Nearly all practices used clinical guidelines, protocols, or pathways in managing patients with diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma. Further, nearly all group practices used computerized information systems to assist in delivering care, and most had provider education programs. Conclusions: Managed care has affected the way eye care providers organize, finance, and deliver healthcare. In general, our findings paint an optimistic picture of eye care practices that contract with managed care organizations. Few practices bear substantial financial risk, and nearly all practices use quality management tools that could help to improve the quality of care.
      518