Enrollee Mix, Treatment Intensity, and Cost in Competing Indemnity and HMO Plans
We examine why managed care plans are less expensive than traditional indemnity insurance plans. Our database consists of the insurance experiences of over 200,000 state and local employees in Massachusetts and their families, who are insured in a single pool. Within this group, average HMO costs are 40 percent below those of the indemnity plan. We evaluate cost differences for 8 conditions representing over 10 percent of total health expenditures. They are: heart attacks, cancers (breast, cervical, colon, prostate), diabetes (type I and II), and live births. For each condition, we identify the portions of the cost differential arising from differences in treatment intensity, enrollee mix, and prices paid for the same treatment. Surprisingly, treatment intensity differs hardly at all between the HMOs and the indemnity plan. That is, relative to their fee-for-service competitor, HMOs do not curb the use of expensive treatments. Across the 8 conditions, roughly half of the HMO cost savings is due to the lower incidence of the diseases in the HMOs. Virtually all of the remaining savings come because HMOs pay lower prices for the same treatment.
|Date of creation:||Aug 2000|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Altman, Daniel & Cutler, David & Zeckhauser, Richard, 2003. "Enrollee mix, treatment intensity, and cost in competing indemnity and HMO plans," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 23-45, January.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Cutler, David M. & Zeckhauser, Richard J., 2000.
"The anatomy of health insurance,"
Handbook of Health Economics,
in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 11, pages 563-643
- Altman, Daniel & Cutler, David M & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1998. "Adverse Selection and Adverse Retention," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 122-26, May.
- David M. Cutler & Richard J. Zeckhauser, 1998.
"Adverse Selection in Health Insurance,"
in: Frontiers in Health Policy Research, Volume 1, pages 1-32
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ellis, Randall P, 1989. "Employee Choice of Health Insurance," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(2), pages 215-23, May.
- Cutler, David M & McClellan, Mark & Newhouse, Joseph P, 1998. "What Has Increased Medical-Care Spending Bought?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 132-36, May.
- Sarah Feldman & David Scharfstein, 1998. "Managed Care Provider Volume," NBER Working Papers 6523, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- McClellan, Mark & Cutler, David & Newhous, Joseph P., 2000. "How Does Managed Care Do It?," Scholarly Articles 2643884, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- David M. Cutler & Mark McClellan & Joseph P. Newhouse, 2000. "How Does Managed Care Do It?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(3), pages 526-548, Autumn.
- David M. Cutler & Mark McClellan & Joseph P. Newhouse & Dahlia Remler, 1998. "Are Medical Prices Declining? Evidence from Heart Attack Treatments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 991-1024.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7832. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.