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Vol. 2, No. 2, 2012

Applying the 2003 Beers Update to Elderly Medicare Enrollees in the Part D Program

This paper assesses Beers drug use in dual enrollees compared to non-duals; explores the association between dual enrollment status and Beers use, controlling for the effects of age, gender, race/ethnicity, census region, and health status; and assesses which medication therapeutic category had the highest Beers use.

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Enhancing Medicare’s Hospital-Acquired Conditions Policy to Encompass Readmissions

Defines and quantifies acute inpatient readmissions arising directly from, or completing the definition of, the current Hospital-Acquired Conditions (HAC). An additional estimated $103 million in payments would be withheld if Medicare expands the policy to include non-payment for HAC related readmissions. The majority (90%) of this impact involves mediastinitis, post-orthopedic surgery infection, or fall related injury.

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The National Market for Medicare Clinical Laboratory Testing: Implications for Payment Reform

To inform payment policy, we analyzed the structure of the national market for Medicare Part B clinical laboratory testing, using a 5-percent sample of 2006 Medicare claims data. Despite the concentrated independent laboratory market structure, national competitive bidding for non-patient laboratory tests could result in cost savings for Medicare.

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Assessing Measurement Error in Medicare Coverage From the National Health Interview Survey

Using linked administrative data, we sought to validate Medicare coverage estimates among adults aged 65 or older from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), and to assess the impact of a recently added Medicare probe question on the validity of these estimates. Increased accuracy of the Medicare coverage status of NHIS participants was achieved with the Medicare probe question. Though some misclassification remains, data users interested in Medicare coverage as an outcome or correlate can use this survey measure with confidence.

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