Nevin Manimala Statistics

Prevalence of Independence at Home-Qualifying Beneficiaries in Traditional Medicare, 2014-2021

JAMA Netw Open. 2024 Jul 1;7(7):e2421102. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2024.21102.


IMPORTANCE: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Innovation Center Independence at Home (IAH) demonstration, a test of home-based primary care operating in a value-based shared-savings payment model, ended December 2023 after a decade of consistently showing savings to Medicare. It is important to assess whether high-need, IAH-qualified beneficiaries continue to pose a growing challenge to traditional Medicare (TM) or if Medicare Advantage (MA), with programmatic features favorable to caring for this subset of the general Medicare population, can disproportionately provide such care.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the size and share of IAH-qualified beneficiaries in TM and MA.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This cohort study used all Medicare claims data and MA encounter data for 2014 and 2021. IAH qualifying criteria were applied to the TM populations enrolled in Parts A and B in 2014 and 2021, and to MA enrollees in 2021. Growth in the number of IAH-qualified TM beneficiaries from 2014 to 2021 was calculated, and the proportions and numbers of IAH-qualified enrollees in the total 2021 TM and MA populations were compared. Data were analyzed between April and June 2023.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The number and share of beneficiaries meeting IAH criteria in TM and MA; the share of TM spending among IAH-qualified beneficiaries.

RESULTS: Among 64 million Medicare beneficiaries in 2021, there were 30.55 million beneficiaries in TM with Parts A and B coverage, down from 33.82 million in 2014. The number of IAH-qualified beneficiaries in TM grew 51%, from 2.16 million to 3.27 million, while their proportionate share in TM grew 67% from 6.4% to 10.7% of TM between 2014 and 2021. IAH-qualified beneficiaries represented $155 billion in 2021 Medicare Parts A and B spending, 44% of all TM spending, up from 29% of total spending in 2014. In 2021, 2.15 million IAH-qualified beneficiaries represented 8.0% of Medicare Advantage enrollees. Combining TM and MA, 5.42 million IAH-qualified beneficiaries represented 9.3% of all Medicare beneficiaries, with 3.27 million (60.3%) being insured by TM.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this cohort study of IAH-qualified Medicare beneficiaries, the share of IAH-qualified beneficiaries in TM grew between 2014 and 2021, with 60% of Medicare high-need beneficiaries accounting for 44% of TM spending. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services should continue to operate value-based programs like IAH that are specifically designed for these high-needs individuals.

PMID:38990572 | DOI:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2024.21102

By Nevin Manimala

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