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Managed care, market consolidation, and universal coverage N287E Spring 2006 Professor: Joanne Spetz 3 May 2006
What is Medicare Part D? • Coverage for prescription drugs • Annual enrollment periods • Pick a specific drug plan • Monthly premium • Yearly deductible, no more than $250 in 2006
What does Part D cover? • Total drug costs up to $2,250, with copayments • Copayments can be “tiered” or vary by type of drug • 95% of expenses after out-of-pocket costs exceed $3,600 • Some plans offer coverage in this gap
No REALLY what does it cost? Case: $1000 in drugs per year, 24 scrips
No REALLY what does it cost? Case: $3000 in drugs per year, 60 scrips for $2250
Marketing of Part D • Pharmacies have their proprietary plans • Companies are creating user tools to pick plans • Medicare has a fancy web site to help choose plans • Medicare is using Part D to market “Medicare Advantage” (managed care)
How would managed care control costs? • Why would a provider contract with a HMO/PPO? • Guarantee a group of patients • Prevent competitor from getting those patients • Some benefits of HMO management services (?)
What about managed care’s effects? • Major literature reviews by Miller & Luft • Equal numbers of better and worse results • Worse quality for Medicare HMO enrollees with chronic conditions • Financial incentives to doctors have unclear effects on quality (Armour et al., 2001)
More managed care effects • Preventive care • Better cancer screening (Haas et al., 2002) • Mental health • Colorado study found no difference after managed care introduced (Cuffel et al., 2002)
Managed care & costs • Miller & Luft • No clear hospital/physician resource use differences • Managed care probably reduced costs through mid-1990s • Excess payments negotiated out of system • Resurgence of cost inflation in 2000s
Why is there high cost inflation? • Administrative costs • High quality of care • Prices of inputs • New technologies • Incentive to develop new technologies due to widespread insurance coverage • Hospitals compete by purchasing technologies (“medical arms race”)
HMO/PPO bargaining power • HMOs/PPOs want providers to think the providers need the insurer’s patients • The bigger the insurer, the more the providers need to contract with it • Insurers have merged to gain market power • Insurers have become for-profit companies
Provider bargaining power • Physicians developed groups • Management of contracts • Taking on risk in capitated contracts • Hospitals merged • Economies of scale • Bargaining power • Vertical integration • Care systems
Balance of power • Provider bargaining power • Through the 1980s, HMOs/PPOs had more power • Prices and overall costs of health care did not grow much • In the late 1990s, providers gained power • Patient revolt against management of care • Mergers of providers = bargaining power • Providers do not want financial risk
Issues with health care systems • Corporatization versus independence • Who makes the decisions? • Profit status • What benefits should nonprofits provide? • Anti-trust law • Will mergers reduce competition?
Specifically, we care about… • Prices of services • Viability of providers (efficiency, access) • Charity services • Quantity of charity • Mix of community benefits • Quality of care for patients • Employment levels and job quality • Availability of provider services (consolidation, closure)
We assume nonprofits provide more community benefits • Nonprofit hospitals have advantages • Tax-exempt • Issuance of tax-exempt bonds • In exchange for tax advantage, they are supposed to provide benefits to the community • Public goods will be provided in insufficient quantities in competitive markets
Nonprofit hospital ownership is still the norm • In 1997, 71% of hospitals were nonprofit • 77% of hospital beds were nonprofit
What is a community benefit? • Charity care • Services that produce an externality • Medical care for low-income persons • Losses on medical research • Unbilled public-good services (screening, classes) • Taxes • Medicaid/Medicare shortfalls? • Price discounts to privately insured patients? • Losses on medical education?
How much benefit should be provided? • Two approaches: • Value of tax exemption • Value of profits received by for-profit hospitals, plus the benefits provided by for-profit hospitals
Nicholson et al. (2000) method • Taxes, uncompensated care • 3 largest for-profit systems, 1996-1998 • $1.2 billion per year average taxes • $1.2 billion per year average uncomp care • $1 billion per year average profit • If these systems kept their tax & uncomp care money, they would profit $3.4 billion • Return on equity would be 30.1% • Return on assets would be 10.3%
How much should be provided? • Apply the return on equity and assets to nonprofit hospitals • $9.1 to $13.2 million average per hospital • Average uncompensated costs are $3.3 million average • 25-36% of expected community spending
Conversions have been a big issue • Since 1980s, people think there have been many not-for-profit to for-profit conversions • Concerns: • For-profit firms take “charitable assets” from the public • For-profit firms do not continue to provide charity care • For-profit firms do not serve as good agents for patients (quality of care)
What factors motivate conversions? • Reduced income for nonprofits • Philanthropy to health care has declined • Reduced reimbursements • Reduced government grants • Reduced borrowing ability • Downgraded bond ratings • Need to grow and expand • Increased expenses • Competition from for-profit firms
What types of firms are converting? • Robinson 2000 • Growth and mature industries convert because they need to grow • Declining industries do not convert because there is not enough profit opportunity
Conversions in California have produced huge foundations • HealthNet conversion (1992) • $300 million + 80 percent of the equity • Current assets of $1 billion • Blue Cross conversion (1996) • California Endowment ($200 million in grants in 2000) • California HealthCare Foundation • Holds stock in WellPoint, other assets - $2 trillion • 80% of stock proceeds go to the Endowment ($1.4 trillion) • 20% are used for research ($15 million a year)
Hospital mergers have increased • Number of mergers in US has been large • 1994 – 100 mergers & acquisitions • 1996 – 165 mergers & acquisitions • 1997 – 184 mergers & acquisitions • Publicly traded companies were less than 25% of transactions in 1997
How does a merger occur? • A nonprofit board decides to seek an affiliation • The board articulates its goals • Mission, community, quality, charity, access • Contracts, physicians • Almost never “financial returns” • Board prepares a RFP
Strategies • Merge with a neighbor • Better market power, streamlined management • Hard to implement due to historical baggage • Merge into a system • Central management support • Loss of local control • Acquisition by a for-profit • Capital from the sale can extend the mission • Conversion can enable hospital to survive • Joint venture with a for-profit
Courts have allowed most mergers • 1996 Grand Rapids case • 2 largest hospitals were allowed to merge • New entity would have 73% of the market • Judge said nonprofit hospitals were not likely to raise prices even if they have monopoly power • Paper published by William Lynk in 1995 was cited in decision (1989 data) • Theory: nonprofit Board of Directors acts as a cooperative of public citizens
Systems, profit status, and prices • Hospital mergers could increase or decrease prices • More efficient production lower prices • Market power higher prices • The overall effect could depend on profit status • Nonprofits might be less willing to exercise market power because their objective is not profit maximization
Some evidence disputes Lynk’s theory • Melnick, Keeler, & Zwanziger: • Managed care puts financial pressure on hospitals, including nonprofits • Nonprofits have to be more aggressive financially to meet their other objectives Thus, nonprofits are more likely to raise prices as managed care grows
Other studies find lower prices • Connor et al., 1997, “Which types of hospital mergers save consumers money?” • 3500 hospitals, 1986-1994 • Examined cost and price changes for each group • Lower cost and price growth of merging hospitals versus nonmerging hospitals (7.2 and 7.1 percent points) • Connor et al., 1998, “The effects of market concentration and horizontal mergers on hospital costs and prices.” • Multivariate analysis with same data confirms findings
Do systems change staffing? • Spetz, Seago, and Mitchell (2001) • California data, 1986-1998 • Staffing of RNs, LVNs, aides, management/supervision, clerical/admin • Fixed effects regressions • Results • Systems reduce RN staffing • Systems increase aide staffing • Systems reduce management/supervision
Universal coverage Problems and proposals
New data! • Study published by the Commonwealth Fund
Uninsured Rates High Among Adults with Low and Moderate Incomes, 2001–2005 Percent of adults ages 19–64 53 52 49 41 35 28 28 26 24 18 16 13 7 4 4 2001 2003 2005 2001 2003 2005 2001 2003 2005 2001 2003 2005 2001 2003 2005 Total Low income Moderate income Middle income High income Note: Income refers to annual income. In 2001 and 2003, low income is <$20,000, moderate income is $20,000–$34,999, middle income is $35,000–$59,999, and high income is $60,000 or more. In 2005, low income is <$20,000, moderate income is $20,000–$39,999, middle income is $40,000–$59,999, and high income is $60,000 or more. Source: The Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Surveys (2001, 2003, and 2005).
Individual and Family Work Status, Adults with Any Time Uninsured Adult Work Status Family Work Status No worker in family 21% Not currently employed 36% At least one full-time worker 67% Full-time 49% Only part-time worker(s) 11% Part-time 15% Note: Percentages may not sum to 100% because of rounding. Source: The Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey (2005).
More than Three of Five Working Adults with Any Time Uninsured Are Employed in Firms with Less than 100 Employees Don’t know/ refused 4% Self-employed/1 employee 10% 500+ employees 21% 2–19 employees 31% 100–499 employees 11% 20–99 employees 22% Employed adults with any time uninsured ages 19–64, 30.4 million Note: Percentages may not sum to 100% because of rounding. Source: The Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey (2005).
Length of Time Uninsured, Adults Ages 19–64 Insured now, time uninsured in past year 16.2 million Uninsured at the time of the survey 31.6 million Don’t know/refused 2% Don’t know/refused 1% 3 months or less 6% One year or more 26% 4 to 11 months 11% 3 months or less 34% One year or more 82% 4 to 11 months 39% Note: Percentages may not sum to 100% because of rounding. Source: The Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey (2005).
Lacking Health Insurance for Any PeriodThreatens Access to Care Percent of adults ages 19–64 reporting the following problems in the past year because of cost: Source: The Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey (2005).
Adults Without Insurance Are Less Likely to Be Able to Manage Chronic Conditions Percent of adults 19–64 with at least one chronic condition* *Hypertension, high blood pressure, or stroke; heart attack or heart disease; diabetes; asthma, emphysema, or lung disease. Source: The Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey (2005).
Adults Without Insurance Are Less Likely to Get Preventive Screening Tests Percent of adults Note: Pap test in past year for females ages 19-29, past three years age 30+; colon cancer screening in past five years for adults age 50+; and mammogram in past two years for females age 50+. Source: The Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey (2005).
Only Two of Five Americans Are Very Satisfied with the Quality of Health Care Percent of adults ages 19–64 who are very satisfied Source: The Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey (2005).
Why do we think we need to reform our health system? • High number of uninsured, underinsured • Children are uninsured • Mental health and substance abuse often not covered • Some people are refused coverage • Long term care
Why do we think we need to reform our health system? • Current system has wrong focus • Prevention, not treatment • Quality of care information is not used • Experimental treatments don’t have good coverage or guidelines
Why do we think we need to change our health system? • Providers have wrong incentives • Overutilization • Profit motives • Costs are high • Administrative costs are double that of many other countries • Malpractice cases
What do we like about our health system? • Numerous surveys report: • High quality care • Choice of physicians, hospitals • Excellent training of providers • Excellent technology • Wellness programs • Community health centers for the poor