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  • Evaluation of Clinical and Economic Outcomes Following Implementation of a Medicare Pay-for-Performance Program for Surgical Procedures. JAMA network open Kim, K. M., White, J. S., Max, W., Chapman, S. A., Muench, U. 2021; 4 (8): e2121115


    Importance: Surgical complications increase hospital costs by approximately $20 000 per admission and extend hospital stays by 9.7 days. Improving surgical care quality and reducing costs is needed for patients undergoing surgery, health care professionals, hospitals, and payers.Objective: To evaluate the association of the Hospital-Acquired Conditions Present on Admission (HAC-POA) program, a mandated national pay-for-performance program by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, with surgical care quality and costs.Design, Setting, and Participants: A cross-sectional study of Medicare inpatient surgical care stays from October 2004 through September 2017 in the US was conducted. The National Inpatient Sample and a propensity score-weighted difference-in-differences analysis of hospital stays with associated primary surgical procedures was used to compare changes in outcomes for the intervention and control procedures before and after HAC-POA program implementation. The sample consisted of 1 317 262 inpatient surgical episodes representing 1 198 665 stays for targeted procedures and 118 597 stays for nontargeted procedures. Analyses were performed between November 1, 2020, and May 7, 2021.Exposures: Implementation of the HAC-POA program for the intervention procedures included in this study (fiscal year 2009).Main Outcomes and Measures: Incidence of surgical site infections and deep vein thrombosis, length of stay, in-hospital mortality, and hospital costs. Analyses were adjusted for patient and hospital characteristics and indicators for procedure type, hospital, and year.Results: In our propensity score-weighted sample, the intervention procedures group comprised 1 047 351 (88.5%) individuals who were White and 742 734 (60.6%) women; mean (SD) age was 75 (6.9) years. The control procedures group included 94 715 (88.0%) individuals who were White, and 65 436 (60.6%) women; mean (SD) age was 75 (7.1) years. After HAC-POA implementation, the incidence of surgical site infections in targeted procedures decreased by 0.3 percentage points (95% CI, -0.5 to -0.1 percentage points; P=.02) compared with nontargeted procedures. The program was associated with a reduction in length of stay by 0.5 days (95% CI, -0.6 to -0.4 days; P<.001) and hospital costs by 8.1% (95% CI, -10.2% to -6.1%; P<.001). No significant changes in deep vein thrombosis incidence and mortality were noted.Conclusions and Relevance: The findings of this study suggest that the HAC-POA program is associated with small decreases in surgical site infection and length of stay and moderate decreases in hospital costs for patients enrolled in Medicare. Policy makers may consider these findings when evaluating the continuation and expansion of this program for other surgical procedures, and payers may want to consider adopting a similar policy.

    View details for DOI 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.21115

    View details for PubMedID 34406402

  • Mothers of children with major congenital anomalies have increased health care utilization over a 20-year post-birth time horizon. PloS one Shah, N. R., Kim, K. M., Wong, V., Cohen, E., Rosenbaum, S., Cahan, E. M., Milstein, A., Sorensen, H. T., Horvath-Puho, E. 2021; 16 (12): e0260962


    OBJECTIVE: This population-based, matched cohort study aimed to evaluate utilization of health care services by mothers of children with major congenital anomalies (MCAs), compared to mothers of children without MCAs over a 20-year post-birth time horizon in Denmark.METHODS: Our analytic sample included mothers who gave birth to an infant with a MCA (n = 23,927) and a cohort of mothers matched to them by maternal age, parity and infant's year of birth (n = 239,076). Primary outcomes were period prevalence and mothers' quantity of health care utilization (primary, inpatient, outpatient, surgical, and psychiatric services) stratified by their child's age (i.e., ages 0-6 = before school, ages 7-13 = pre-school + primary education, and ages 14-18 = secondary education or higher). The secondary outcome measure was length of hospital stays. Outcome measures were adjusted for maternal age at delivery, parity, marital status, income quartile, level of education in the year prior to the index birth, previous spontaneous abortions, maternal pregnancy complications, maternal diabetes, hypertension, alcohol-related diseases, and maternal smoking.RESULTS: In both cohorts the majority of mothers were between 26 and 35 years of age, married, and employed, and 47% were primiparous. Mothers of infants with anomalies had greater utilization of outpatient, inpatient, surgical, and psychiatric services, compared with mothers in the matched cohort. Inpatient service utilization was greater in the exposed cohort up to 13 years after a child's birth, with the highest risk in the first six years after birth [adjusted risk ratio, 1.13; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.12-1.14], with a decrease over time. Regarding the quantity of health care utilization, the greatest difference between the two groups was in inpatient service utilization, with a 39% increased rate in the exposed cohort during the first six years after birth (adjusted rate ratio, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.37-1.42). During the first 6 years after birth, mothers of children with anomalies stayed a median of 6 days (interquartile range [IQR], 3-13) in hospital overall, while the comparison cohort stayed a median of 4 days (IQR, 2-7) in hospital overall. Rates of utilization of outpatient clinics (adjusted rate ratio, 1.36; 95% CI, 1.29-1.42), as well as inpatient (adjusted rate ratio, 1.77; 95% CI, 1.68-1.87), and surgical services (adjusted rate ratio, 1.33; 95% CI, 1.26-1.41) was higher in mothers of children with multiple-organ MCAs during 0 to 6 years after birth. Among mothers at the lowest income levels, utilization of psychiatric clinic services increased to 59% and when their child was 7 to 13 years of age (adjusted rate ratio, 1.59; 95% CI, 1.24-2.03).CONCLUSION: Mothers of infants with a major congenital anomaly had greater health care utilization across services. Health care utilization decreased over time or remained stable for outpatient, inpatient, and surgical care services, whereas psychiatric utilization increased for up to 13 years after an affected child's birth. Healthcare utilization was significantly elevated among mothers of children with multiple MCAs and among those at the lowest income levels.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0260962

    View details for PubMedID 34879106

  • Do penalty-based pay-for-performance programs improve surgical care more effectively than other payment strategies? A systematic review. Annals of medicine and surgery (2012) Kim, K. M., Max, W. n., White, J. S., Chapman, S. A., Muench, U. n. 2020; 60: 623–30


    The aim of this systematic review is to assess if penalty-based pay-for-performance (P4P) programs are more effective in improving quality and cost outcomes compared to two other payment strategies (i.e., rewards and a combination of rewards and penalties) for surgical care in the United States. Penalty-based programs have gained in popularity because of their potential to motivate behavioral change more effectively than reward-based programs to improve quality of care. However, little is known about whether penalties are more effective than other strategies.A systematic literature review was conducted according to the PRISMA guideline to identify studies that evaluated the effects of P4P programs on quality and cost outcomes for surgical care. Five databases were used to search studies published from 2003 to March 1, 2020. Studies were selected based on the PRISMA guidelines. Methodological quality of individual studies was assessed based on ROBINS-I with GRADE approach.This review included 22 studies. Fifteen cross-sectional, 1 prospective cohort, 4 retrospective cohort, and 2 case-control studies were found. We identified 11 unique P4P programs: 5 used rewards, 3 used penalties, and 3 used a combination of rewards and penalties as a payment strategy. Five out of 10 studies reported positive effects of penalty-based programs, whereas evidence from studies evaluating P4P programs with a reward design or combination of rewards and penalties was little or null.This review highlights that P4P programs with a penalty design could be more effective than programs using rewards or a combination of rewards and penalties to improve quality of surgical care.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.amsu.2020.11.060

    View details for PubMedID 33304576

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7711081