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The American Journal of Managed Care September 2018
Food Insecurity, Healthcare Utilization, and High Cost: A Longitudinal Cohort Study
Seth A. Berkowitz, MD, MPH; Hilary K. Seligman, MD, MAS; James B. Meigs, MD, MPH; and Sanjay Basu, MD, PhD
Language Barriers and LDL-C/SBP Control Among Latinos With Diabetes
Alicia Fernandez, MD; E. Margaret Warton, MPH; Dean Schillinger, MD; Howard H. Moffet, MPH; Jenna Kruger, MPH; Nancy Adler, PhD; and Andrew J. Karter, PhD
Hepatitis C Care Cascade Among Persons Born 1945-1965: 3 Medical Centers
Joanne E. Brady, PhD; Claudia Vellozzi, MD, MPH; Susan Hariri, PhD; Danielle L. Kruger, BA; David R. Nerenz, PhD; Kimberly Ann Brown, MD; Alex D. Federman, MD, MPH; Katherine Krauskopf, MD, MPH; Natalie Kil, MPH; Omar I. Massoud, MD; Jenni M. Wise, RN, MSN; Toni Ann Seay, MPH, MA; Bryce D. Smith, PhD; Anthony K. Yartel, MPH; and David B. Rein, PhD
“Precision Health” for High-Need, High-Cost Patients
Dhruv Khullar, MD, MPP, and Rainu Kaushal, MD, MPH
From the Editorial Board: A. Mark Fendrick, MD
A. Mark Fendrick, MD
Health Literacy, Preventive Health Screening, and Medication Adherence Behaviors of Older African Americans at a PCMH
Anil N.F. Aranha, PhD, and Pragnesh J. Patel, MD
Early Experiences With the Acute Community Care Program in Eastern Massachusetts
Lisa I. Iezzoni, MD, MSc; Amy J. Wint, MSc; W. Scott Cluett III; Toyin Ajayi, MD, MPhil; Matthew Goudreau, BS; Bonnie B. Blanchfield, CPA, SM, ScD; Joseph Palmisano, MA, MPH; and Yorghos Tripodis, PhD
Economic Evaluation of Patient-Centered Care Among Long-Term Cancer Survivors
JaeJin An, BPharm, PhD, and Adrian Lau, PharmD
Fragmented Ambulatory Care and Subsequent Healthcare Utilization Among Medicare Beneficiaries
Lisa M. Kern, MD, MPH; Joanna K. Seirup, MPH; Mangala Rajan, MBA; Rachel Jawahar, PhD, MPH; and Susan S. Stuard, MBA
High-Touch Care Leads to Better Outcomes and Lower Costs in a Senior Population
Reyan Ghany, MD; Leonardo Tamariz, MD, MPH; Gordon Chen, MD; Elissa Dawkins, MS; Alina Ghany, MD; Emancia Forbes, RDCS; Thiago Tajiri, MBA; and Ana Palacio, MD, MPH
Currently Reading
Adjusting Medicare Advantage Star Ratings for Socioeconomic Status and Disability
Melony E. Sorbero, PhD, MS, MPH; Susan M. Paddock, PhD; Cheryl L. Damberg, PhD; Ann Haas, MS, MPH; Mallika Kommareddi, MPH; Anagha Tolpadi, MS; Megan Mathews, MA; and Marc N. Elliott, PhD

Adjusting Medicare Advantage Star Ratings for Socioeconomic Status and Disability

Melony E. Sorbero, PhD, MS, MPH; Susan M. Paddock, PhD; Cheryl L. Damberg, PhD; Ann Haas, MS, MPH; Mallika Kommareddi, MPH; Anagha Tolpadi, MS; Megan Mathews, MA; and Marc N. Elliott, PhD
CMS implemented the Categorical Adjustment Index as part of the Medicare Advantage and Part D Star Rating Program in 2017. These analyses informed its development.
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ABSTRACT

Objectives: Studies have identified potential unintended effects of not adjusting clinical performance measures in value-based purchasing programs for socioeconomic status (SES) factors. We examine the impact of SES and disability adjustments on Medicare Advantage (MA) plans’ and prescription drug plans’ (PDPs’) contract star ratings. These analyses informed the development of the Categorical Adjustment Index (CAI), which CMS implemented with the 2017 star ratings.

Study Design: Retrospective analyses of MA and PDP performance using 2012 Medicare beneficiary-level characteristics and performance data from the Star Rating Program.

Methods: We modeled within-contract associations of beneficiary SES (Medicaid and Medicare dual eligibility [DE] or receipt of a low-income subsidy [LIS]) and disability with performance on 16 clinical measures. We estimated variability in contract-level DE/LIS and disability disparities using mixed-effects regression models. We simulated the impact of applying the CAI to adjust star ratings for DE/LIS and disability to construct the 2017 star ratings.

Results: DE/LIS was negatively associated with performance for 12 of 16 measures and positively associated for 2 of 16 measures. Disability was negatively associated with performance for 11 of 15 measures and positively associated for 3 of 15 measures. Adjusting star ratings using the CAI resulted in half-star rating increases for 8.5% of MA and 33.3% of PDP contracts that exceeded 50% DE/LIS beneficiaries.

Conclusions: Increases in star ratings following adjustment of clinical performance for SES and disability using the CAI focused on contracts with higher percentages of DE/LIS beneficiaries. Adjustment for enrollee characteristics may improve the accuracy of quality measurement and remove incentives for providers to avoid caring for more challenging patient populations.

Am J Manag Care. 2018;24(9):e285-e291

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