Market Saturation and Utilization Data Tool
The Market Saturation and Utilization Data Tool was developed to allow the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to monitor market saturation as a means to help prevent potential fraud, waste, and abuse (FWA). Market saturation, in the present context, refers to the density of providers of a particular service within a defined geographic area relative to the number of beneficiaries receiving that service in the area. The data can be used to reveal the degree to which use of a service is related to the number of providers servicing a geographic region. There are also a number of secondary research uses for these data, but one objective of making these data public is to assist health care providers in making informed decisions about their service locations and the beneficiary population they serve.
The tool includes interactive maps and datasets that show national-, state-, county-, and Core-Based Statistical Area (CBSA)-level provider services and utilization data for selected health service areas. Provider services and utilization data by these geographic regions are easily compared using the interactive maps above. The tool is available through the CMS website at: https://data.cms.gov/market-saturation. Future releases may include comparable information on additional health service areas.
Release 12 adds four reference periods for a total of eighteen, twelve-month reference periods, for State/County data, and nineteen health service areas: Home Health, Ambulance (Emergency, Non-Emergency, Emergency & Non-Emergency), Independent Diagnostic Testing Facilities (Part A and Part B), Skilled Nursing Facilities, Hospice, Physical and Occupational Therapy, Clinical Laboratory (Billing Independently), Long-Term Care Hospitals, Chiropractic Services, Cardiac Rehabilitation Programs, Psychotherapy, Federally Qualified Health Centers, Ophthalmology, Preventive Health Services, Dialysis, and Telemedicine.
Release 12 adds one reference period, for a total of five reference periods for the Core-Based Statistical Area (CBSA). CBSAs are geographical delineations that encompass both metropolitan statistical areas and micropolitan statistical areas. A micropolitan statistical area is an urban cluster of at least 10,000 people but less than 50,000 people, while a metropolitan statistical area is an urban cluster of at least 50,000 people. CBSAs are Census Bureau-defined urban clusters of at least 10,000 people. In order to better provide appropriate data and services, CMS defines additional custom CBSAs beyond those defined by the US Census Bureau. At this time CBSA-level trend data is not calculated. CMS defined CBSAs are not currently included in the shapefile needed to create the CBSA interactive map. The CMS-defined CBSAs are included in the interactive data set and contribute to the Nation + Territories level totals.
The analysis is based on paid Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) claims data from the CMS Integrated Data Repository (IDR). The IDR contains Medicare FFS claims, beneficiary data, provider data, and plan data. FFS claims data are analyzed for a 12-month reference period, and state- and county-level results are updated quarterly to reflect a more recent 12-month reference period. CBSA data are also analyzed for a 12-month reference period and results will be updated annually to reflect a more recent calendar year.
The Market Saturation and Utilization methodology is different from other public use data with respect to determining the geographic location of a provider. In this analysis, claims are used to define the geographic area(s) served by a provider rather than the provider’s practice address. Further, a provider is defined as “serving a county” if, during the 12-month reference period, the provider had paid claims for more than ten beneficiaries located in a county. A provider is defined as “serving a state” if that provider serves any county in the state. Similar to the county-level definition, a provider is defined as “serving a CBSA” if, during the one-year reference period, the provider had paid claims for more than ten beneficiaries located in that CBSA. The CBSA location is an aggregation of county level data.
The Market Saturation and Utilization methodology is also different from other public use data with respect to determining the number of Medicare beneficiaries who are enrolled in a fee-for-service (FFS) program. In this analysis, a FFS beneficiary is defined as being enrolled in Part A and/or Part B with a coverage type code equal to “9” (FFS coverage) for at least one month of the 12-month reference period. There must not be a death date for that month or a missing zip code for the beneficiary so that the beneficiary can be assigned to a county. Other public use data may define a FFS beneficiary using different criteria, such as requiring the beneficiary to be enrolled in the FFS program every month during the reference period.
Starting with Release 7 (April 2018), the interactive data set for state- and county-level data includes all reference periods for the following United States territories, commonwealths, and freely associated states: American Samoa (AS); Micronesia (FM); Guam (GU); Northern Mariana Islands (MP); Puerto Rico (PR); and the U.S. Virgin Islands (VI). The national-level data in the interactive data set for all previous reference periods reflects the U.S. plus the aforementioned territories. With Release 12, the interactive data set for CBSA-level data includes five reference periods and data for United States territories, commonwealths, and freely associated states that have defined CBSAs.
The Market Saturation and Utilization Tool does not include information on market saturation and utilization for Medicaid or private insurance. Dual eligible metrics are produced from Medicare claims data only and therefore do not incorporate Medicaid claims data.
The Market Saturation and Utilization Data Tool includes an interactive map that is color-coded based on an analysis that separates the distribution into the following categories of states/counties/CBSAs for the selected metric: lowest 25 percent, second lowest 25 percent, third lowest 25 percent, top 25 percent excluding extreme values, and extreme values. An extreme value is one that greatly differs from other values in its field (e.g., Number of Providers). Counties and CBSAs that are excluded from the analysis are colored gray in the interactive maps. The CBSA map is generated using the 2017 shapefile, which contains the same CBSAs as the 2018 and 2019 files.
For those interested in states and counties affected by CMS’ temporary provider enrollment moratoria during the reference periods for which data are available, the interactive map permits a visualization that identifies those states and counties. On January 30, 2019, the CMS temporary provider enrollment moratoria were lifted. Therefore, the reference periods added in Releases 10, 11, and 12 do not inlcude moratoria color differentiation. In this visualization, Ambulance and Home Health service areas for moratoria versus non-moratoria states/counties are identified based on color scheme for reference periods ending prior to June 30, 2018.
The State/County-level examples below utilize the Home Health service area data (selected for illustration purposes only). Similar maps can be created through the Data Tool for all of the health service areas included in this release and for the following State/County-level twelve-month reference periods:
October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015
January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015
April 1, 2015 through March 31, 2016
July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016
October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016
January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016
April 1, 2016 through March 31, 2017
July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017
October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017
January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017
April 1, 2017 through March 31, 2018
July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018
October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018
January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018
April 1, 2018 through March 31, 2019
July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019
October 1, 2018 through September 30, 2019
January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019
The CBSA example below utilizes the Ophthalmology service area data (selected for illustration purposes only). Similar maps can be created through the Data tool for all of the health service areas included in this release. CBSA data is refreshed annually and currently includes five reference periods (January 1, 2015 – December 31, 2015; January 1, 2016 – December 31, 2016; January 1, 2017 – December 31, 2017; January 1, 2018 - December 31, 2018; and January 1, 2019 – December 31, 2019).Map 1 displays the distribution of providers by state for the October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017 reference period. Prior to the reference period ending on June 30, 2018, the state/county map dual color scale identifies states and counties that were under moratoria in blue.
Map 2 drills down to the county level and displays the distribution of providers by county within the State of Texas for the October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017 reference period.
Map 2. Home Health:
County Distribution of Number of Providers
October 1, 2016 – September 30, 2017
Color by Moratoria Status
Similar maps can be created at the national- and state-level for the other metrics included in the Data Tool: Number of FFS Beneficiaries, Average Number of Users per Provider, Percentage of Users out of FFS Beneficiaries, Number of Users, Average Number of Providers per County, Number of Dual Eligible Users, Percentage of Dual Eligible Users out of Total Users, Percentage of Dual Eligible Users out of Dual Eligible FFS Beneficiaries, and Total Payment. Map 3 shows the distribution of Fee-for-Service Beneficiaries by CBSA for the January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017 reference period. Future releases will include additional reference periods and trend data. The CBSA interactive map uses a single-color scale. The map does not include moratoria information as the moratoria were enacted statewide. CBSAs can cross state lines and extend into non-moratoria states.
Map 3. Ophthalmology:
CBSA Distribution of Number of Fee-for-Service Beneficiaries
January 1, 2017 – December 31, 2017
Color by Distribution Status
Navigating the Interactive Trend Graph
Begin by selecting the State/County tab. Next, select a Metric and Health Service Area from the dropdown. Finally, click on the State of interest. A trend line graph of the selected metric will be displayed for the available reference periods. Additional States and Nation + Territories can be added and viewed together on a single graph by selecting the state(s) or Nation + Territories using the dropdown menu above the graph. Data values for the selected additional states and Nation + Territories are displayed by scrolling over the trend lines.