Health insurance design can influence the extent to which clinical care is well-coordinated. Through alternative payment models, Medicare Advantage (MA) and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) have the potential to improve integration relative to traditional fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare.
To characterize patient experiences of integrated care within Medicare and identify whether MA or ACO beneficiaries perceive greater integration than FFS beneficiaries.
Retrospective cross-sectional analysis of the 2015 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey.
Nationally representative sample of 11,978 Medicare beneficiaries.
Main outcomes included 8 previously derived domains of patient-perceived integrated care (PPIC), measured on a scale of 1–4.
The final sample was 55% female with a mean (SD) age of 71.1 (11.3). In unadjusted analyses, we observed considerable variation across PPIC domains in the full sample, but little variation across subsamples defined by coverage type within a given PPIC domain. In linear models adjusting for a rich set of patient characteristics, we observe no significant benefits of ACOs nor MA relative to FFS, a finding which is robust to alternative specifications and adjustment for multiple comparisons. We similarly observed no benefits in subgroup analyses restricted to states with relatively high market penetration of ACOs or MA.
Despite characteristics of ACOs and MA that theoretically promote integrated care, we find that PPIC is largely similar across coverage types in Medicare.