Association of a care coordination model with health care costs and utilization

JAMA Netw Open

Importance: The Johns Hopkins Community Health Partnership was created to improve care coordination across the continuum in East Baltimore, Maryland.

Objective: To determine whether the Johns Hopkins Community Health Partnership (J-CHiP) was associated with improved outcomes and lower spending.

Design, Setting, and Participants: Nonrandomized acute care intervention (ACI) and community intervention (CI) Medicare and Medicaid participants were analyzed in a quality improvement study using difference-in-differences designs with propensity score–weighted and matched comparison groups. The study spanned 2012 to 2016 and took place in acute care hospitals, primary care clinics, skilled nursing facilities, and community-based organizations. The ACI analysis compared outcomes of participants in Medicare and Medicaid during their 90-day postacute episode with those of a propensity score–weighted preintervention group at Johns Hopkins Community Health Partnership hospitals and a concurrent comparison group drawn from similar Maryland hospitals. The CI analysis compared changes in outcomes of Medicare and Medicaid participants with those of a propensity score–matched comparison group of local residents.

Interventions: The ACI bundle aimed to improve transition planning following discharge. The CI included enhanced care coordination and integrated behavioral support from local primary care sites in collaboration with community-based organizations.

Main Outcomes and Measures: Utilization measures of hospital admissions, 30-day readmissions, and emergency department visits; quality of care measures of potentially avoidable hospitalizations, practitioner follow-up visits; and total cost of care (TCOC) for Medicare and Medicaid participants.

Results: The CI group had 2154 Medicare beneficiaries (1320 [61.3%] female; mean age, 69.3 years) and 2532 Medicaid beneficiaries (1483 [67.3%] female; mean age, 55.1 years). For the CI group’s Medicaid participants, aggregate TCOC reduction was $24.4 million, and reductions of hospitalizations, emergency department visits, 30-day readmissions, and avoidable hospitalizations were 33, 51, 36, and 7 per 1000 beneficiaries, respectively. The ACI group had 26 144 beneficiary-episodes for Medicare (13 726 [52.5%] female patients; mean patient age, 68.4 years) and 13 921 beneficiary-episodes for Medicaid (7392 [53.1%] female patients; mean patient age, 52.2 years). For the ACI group’s Medicare participants, there was a significant reduction in aggregate TCOC of $29.2 million with increases in 90-day hospitalizations and 30-day readmissions of 11 and 14 per 1000 beneficiary-episodes, respectively, and reduction in practitioner follow-up visits of 41 and 29 per 1000 beneficiary-episodes for 7-day and 30-day visits, respectively. For the ACI group’s Medicaid participants, there was a significant reduction in aggregate TCOC of $59.8 million and the 90-day emergency department visit rate decreased by 133 per 1000 episodes, but hospitalizations increased by 49 per 1000 episodes and practitioner follow-up visits decreased by 70 and 182 per 1000 episodes for 7-day and 30-day visits, respectively. In total, the CI and ACI were associated with $113.3 million in cost savings.

Conclusions and Relevance: A care coordination model consisting of complementary bundled interventions in an urban academic environment was associated with lower spending and improved health outcomes.

Berkowitz SA, Parashuram S, Rowan K, et al. Association of a care coordination model with health care costs and utilization. JAMA Netw Open. 2018;1(7):e184273. DOI:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.4273.

Publication Year: 
2018
Resource Type: 
Peer Reviewed Research
Study Design: 
Pre-post with Comparison Group
Social Determinant of Health: 
Not Specified
Population: 
Complex Patients
Medicaid-insured
Medicare-insured
Outcomes: 
Patient Experience of Care
Utilization
Cost
Screening Research: 
No