Medicare Advantage beneficiaries are less likely to be hospitalized for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions than their counterparts in traditional Medicare, but this care is shifted to other settings, a study published Feb. 24 in JAMA Health Forum found.
Researchers from Harvard Medical School in Boston studied data for more than 10 million MA and traditional Medicare beneficiaries from January to December 2018.
Medicare Advantage patients were less likely to be hospitalized for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions — conditions that are potentially preventable when a patient has access to care in an outpatient setting — but were more likely to be directly discharged from the emergency department or stay in the department for observation.
The study's authors wrote the risk findings suggest that gains in lowering preventable hospitalizations in Medicare Advantage may be associated with shifting care from hospitalizations to discharges and observation stays.
Read the full study here.