25.04.2019 | Health Policy | Ausgabe 8/2019
Association of Patient Social, Cognitive, and Functional Risk Factors with Preventable Hospitalizations: Implications for Physician Value-Based Payment
Journal of General Internal Medicine
- PhD Kenton J. Johnston, PhD Hefei Wen, PhD Mario Schootman, MD, MPH Karen E. Joynt Maddox
Ambulatory care-sensitive condition (ACSC) hospitalizations are used to evaluate physicians’ performance in Medicare value-based payment programs. However, these measures may disadvantage physicians caring for vulnerable populations because they omit social, cognitive, and functional factors that may be important determinants of hospitalization.
To determine whether social, cognitive, and functional risk factors are associated with ACSC hospitalization rates and whether adjusting for them changes outpatient safety-net providers’ performance.
Using data from the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey, we conducted patient-level multivariable regression to estimate the association (as incidence rate ratios (IRRs)) between patient-reported social, cognitive, and functional risk factors and ACSC hospitalizations. We compared outpatient safety-net and non-safety-net providers’ performance after adjusting for clinical comorbidities alone and after additional adjustment for social, cognitive, and functional factors captured in survey data.
Safety-net and non-safety-net clinics.
Community-dwelling Medicare beneficiaries contributing 38,616 person-years from 2006 to 2013.
Acute and chronic ACSC hospitalizations.
After adjusting for clinical comorbidities, Alzheimer’s/dementia (IRR 1.30, 95% CI 1.02–1.65), difficulty with 3–6 activities of daily living (ADLs) (IRR 1.43, 95% CI 1.05–1.94), difficulty with 1–2 instrumental ADLs (IADLs, IRR 1.54, 95% CI 1.26–1.90), and 3–6 IADLs (IRR 1.90, 95% CI 1.49–2.43) were associated with acute ACSC hospitalization. Low income (IRR 1.28, 95% CI 1.03–1.58), lack of educational attainment (IRR 1.33, 95% CI 1.04–1.69), being unmarried (IRR 1.18, 95% CI 1.01–1.36), difficulty with 1–2 IADLs (IRR 1.30, 95% CI 1.05–1.60), and 3–6 IADLs (IRR 1.44, 95% CI 1.16–1.80) were associated with chronic ACSC hospitalization. Adding these factors to standard Medicare risk adjustment eliminated outpatient safety-net providers’ performance gap (p < .05) on ACSC hospitalization rates relative to non-safety-net providers.
Social, cognitive, and functional risk factors are independently associated with ACSC hospitalizations. Failure to account for them may penalize outpatient safety-net providers for factors that are beyond their control.