¹The Pennsylvania State University—College of Health and Human Development ²University of Minnesota—School of Public Health
Objective: To examine whether home health agencies selectively discontinue services to areas with socio-economically disadvantaged people after the introduction of Home Health Compare (HHC), a public reporting program initiated by Medicare in 2003. Study Design /Methods: We focused on agencies’ initial responses to HHC and examined selective market-area exits by agencies between 2002 and 2004. We measured HHC effects by the percentage of quality indicators reported in public HHC data in 2003. Socio-economic status was measured by per capita income and percent college-educated at the market-area level. Data Source(s): 2002 and 2004 Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS); 2000 US Census file; 2004 Area Resource File; and 2002 Provider of Service File. Principal Findings: We found a small and weak effect of public reporting on selective exits: a 10-percent increase in reporting (reporting one more indicator) increased the probability of leaving an area with less-educated people by 0.3 percentage points, compared with leaving an area with high education. Conclusion: The small level of market-area exits under public reporting is unlikely to be practically meaningful, suggesting that HHC did not lead to a disruption in access to home health care through selective exits during the initial year of the program.
Keywords: Public Reporting, Market-area Exits, Selection Incentives, Home Health Care, Home Health Compare