Medicare Advantage enrollees receive less postacute care: Study

Medicare Advantage enrollees received less intensive postacute care than their counterparts in traditional Medicare, but did not have a significant change in short-term outcomes, a study published Feb. 16 in JAMA Health Forum found. 

The study, led by researchers at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis, compared hospitalizations among a group of retired Ohio state employees. Because of state policy shifts, most retirees shifted from Medicare Advantage in 2015 to traditional Medicare in 2016. 

The study found after the cohort shifted to traditional Medicare, they received more intensive postacute care on average, and were more likely to be discharged to inpatient rehabilitation facilities after hospitalization than when they were enrolled in Medicare Advantage. 

There was no difference in hospital readmissions or 30-day mortality between the two groups, the study found. Further research should examine the outcomes of postacute care over a longer-term period, the authors concluded. 

Read the full study here. 

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