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Effects of Medicare payment reform: Evidence from the home health interim and prospective payment systems


  • Huckfeldt, Peter J.
  • Sood, Neeraj
  • Escarce, José J.
  • Grabowski, David C.
  • Newhouse, Joseph P.


Medicare continues to implement payment reforms that shift reimbursement from fee-for-service toward episode-based payment, affecting average and marginal payment. We contrast the effects of two reforms for home health agencies. The home health interim payment system in 1997 lowered both types of payment; our conceptual model predicts a decline in the likelihood of use and costs, both of which we find. The home health prospective payment system in 2000 raised average but lowered marginal payment with theoretically ambiguous effects; we find a modest increase in use and costs. We find little substantive effect of either policy on readmissions or mortality.

Suggested Citation

  • Huckfeldt, Peter J. & Sood, Neeraj & Escarce, José J. & Grabowski, David C. & Newhouse, Joseph P., 2014. "Effects of Medicare payment reform: Evidence from the home health interim and prospective payment systems," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 1-18.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:34:y:2014:i:c:p:1-18
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2013.11.005

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2008. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 414-427, August.
    2. Sood, Neeraj & Huckfeldt, Peter J. & Grabowski, David C. & Newhouse, Joseph P. & Escarce, José J., 2013. "The effect of prospective payment on admission and treatment policy: Evidence from inpatient rehabilitation facilities," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 965-979.
    3. Ellis, Randall P. & McGuire, Thomas G., 1996. "Hospital response to prospective payment: Moral hazard, selection, and practice-style effects," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 257-277, June.
    4. McKnight, Robin, 2006. "Home care reimbursement, long-term care utilization, and health outcomes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 293-323, January.
    5. Sood, Neeraj & Buntin, Melinda Beeuwkes & Escarce, José J., 2008. "Does how much and how you pay matter? Evidence from the inpatient rehabilitation care prospective payment system," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 1046-1059, July.
    6. Joseph P. Newhouse, 2004. "Pricing the Priceless: A Health Care Conundrum," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262640589, January.
    7. David M. Cutler & Jonathan Gruber, 1996. "Does Public Insurance Crowd out Private Insurance?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 391-430.
    8. Currie, Janet & Gruber, Jonathan, 1996. "Saving Babies: The Efficacy and Cost of Recent Changes in the Medicaid Eligibility of Pregnant Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1263-1296, December.
    9. Hodgkin, Dominic & McGuire, Thomas G., 1994. "Payment levels and hospital response to prospective payment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 1-29, March.
    10. Grabowski, David C. & Afendulis, Christopher C. & McGuire, Thomas G., 2011. "Medicare prospective payment and the volume and intensity of skilled nursing facility services," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 675-684, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sood, Neeraj & Alpert, Abby & Barnes, Kayleigh & Huckfeldt, Peter & Escarce, José J., 2017. "Effects of payment reform in more versus less competitive markets," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 66-83.
    2. repec:kap:ijhcfe:v:17:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10754-016-9200-x is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:hapoch:v1_951 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Judite Goncalves & France Weaver, 2014. "Home care, hospitalizations, and doctor visits," Research Papers by the Institute of Economics and Econometrics, Geneva School of Economics and Management, University of Geneva 14095, Institut d'Economie et Econométrie, Université de Genève.

    More about this item


    Medicare; Treatment intensity; Selection; Prospective payment;

    JEL classification:

    • H42 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Private Goods
    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health


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