OBJECTIVE: To examine the effects of market-level managed care activity on the treatment, cost, and outcomes of care for Medicare fee-for-service acute myocardial infarction (AMI) patients.
DATA SOURCES/STUDY SETTING: Patients from the Cooperative Cardiovascular Project (CCP), a sample of Medicare beneficiaries discharged from nonfederal acute-care hospitals with a primary discharge diagnosis of AMI from January 1994 to February 1996.
STUDY DESIGN: We estimated models of patient treatment, costs, and outcomes using ordinary least squares and logistic regression. The independent variables of primary interest were market-area managed care penetration and competition. The models included controls for patient, hospital, and other market area characteristics.
DATA COLLECTION/EXTRACTION METHODS: We merged the CCP data with Medicare claims and other data sources. The study sample included CCP patients aged 65 and older who were admitted during 1994 and 1995 with a confirmed AMI to a nonrural hospital.
PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Rates of revascularization and cardiac catheterization for Medicare fee-for-service patients with AMI are lower in high-HMO penetration markets than in low-penetration ones. Patients admitted in high-HMO-competition markets, in contrast, are more likely to receive cardiac catheterization for treatment of their AMI and had higher treatment costs than those admitted in low-competition markets.
CONCLUSIONS: The level of managed care activity in the health care market affects the process of care for Medicare fee-for-service AMI patients. Spillovers from managed care activity to patients with other types of insurance are more likely when managed care organizations have greater market power.