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1.  Quality of Care for Incident Lupus Nephritis Among Medicaid Beneficiaries in the United States 
Arthritis care & research  2014;66(4):617-624.
We investigated the quality of care and factors associated with variations in care among a national cohort of Medicaid enrollees with incident lupus nephritis.
Using Medicaid Analytic eXtract (MAX) files from 47 U.S. states and D.C. for 2000–2006, we identified a cohort of individuals with incident lupus nephritis. We assessed performance on three measures of health care quality: receipt of immunosuppressive, renal-protective anti-hypertensive, and anti-malarial medications. We examined performance on these measures over one year, and applied multivariable logistic regression models to understand whether sociodemographic, geographic or health care access factors were associated with higher performance on quality measures.
We identified 1711 Medicaid enrollees with incident lupus nephritis. Performance on quality measures was low at 90 days (21.9% for immunosuppressive therapy, 44.0% for renal protection and 36.4% for anti-malarials), but increased by one year (33.7%, 56.4%, and 45.8%, respectively). Younger individuals, Blacks and Hispanics were more likely to receive immunosuppressive therapy and hydroxychloroquine. Younger individuals were less likely to receive renal-protective anti-hypertensive medications. We found significant geographic variation in performance, with patients in the Northeast receiving higher quality of care compared to other regions. Poor access to health care, as assessed by having a greater number of treat-and-release emergency departments visits compared to ambulatory encounters, was associated with lower receipt of recommended treatment.
These nationwide data suggest low overall quality of care and potential delays in care for Medicaid enrollees with incident lupus nephritis. Significant regional differences also suggest room for quality improvement.
PMCID: PMC4109800  PMID: 24124011
2.  End-Stage Renal Disease due to Lupus Nephritis among Children in the U.S., 1995–2006 
Arthritis and rheumatism  2011;63(7):1988-1997.
Little is known about the sociodemographic correlates of kidney transplantation and survival among U.S. children with lupus nephritis-associated ESRD. We aimed to identify predictors of listing for kidney transplantation (wait-listing), kidney transplantation, and mortality among children with lupus nephritis-associated ESRD.
Children aged 5–18 years with new onset lupus nephritis-associated ESRD were identified in the U.S. Renal Data System (1995–2006). We investigated demographic and clinical characteristics, causes of death and predictors of wait-listing, kidney transplantation, and mortality during the first 5 years of ESRD. Cox proportional hazards models were used.
583 children had incident lupus nephritis-associated ESRD. Mean age at ESRD onset was 16.2 years (SD 2.4); 51% were African American and 24% Hispanic. Within 5 years 292 (49%) were wait-listed, 193 (33%) received a kidney transplant and 131 (22%) died. Main causes of death were cardiopulmonary (31%) and infectious (16%). Children in the Northeast and West (vs. South) were more than twice as likely to be wait-listed (P<0.001, P<0.001) and over 50% more likely to be transplanted (P<0.04). There were fewer kidney transplants among older vs. younger (OR 0.59, P=0.009), African American vs. white (OR 0.48, P<0.001), Hispanic vs. non-Hispanic (OR 0.63, P=0.03) children, and those with Medicaid vs. private insurance (OR 0.7, P=0.03). Mortality was almost double among African American vs. white children (OR 1.83, P<0.001).
Among U.S. children with lupus nephritis-associated ESRD age, race, ethnicity, insurance and geographic region were associated with significant variation in 5-year wait-listing for kidney transplant, kidney transplantation and mortality.
PMCID: PMC3128195  PMID: 21445963
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus; Pediatric Rheumatology; Nephritis; Survival; End Stage Renal Disease; Children; Disparities; Outcomes
3.  Geographical distribution, a risk factor for the incidence of lupus nephritis in China 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:67.
Geographical variation in lupus nephritis epidemiology may indicate important environmental factors contributions to the etiology of lupus nephritis. This paper first describes the epidemiology of biopsy-proven lupus nephritis in China by performing a systematic literature review and the possible social-environmental influential factors.
The keywords “lupus nephritis”, “renal biopsy” and “systemic lupus erythematous” were searched in the three largest Chinese electronic databases and Medline/PubMed. The data of the patients with biopsy-proven lupus nephritis were extracted. The possible environmental influential factors including the population density, ethnic group populations, the ratio of females to males, the average sunshine per year, annual average temperature and annual relative humidity, in different regions of China were analyzed.
Forty-one study centers with 34574 renal disease patients, and 3699 lupus nephritis patients met the inclusion criteria. Lupus nephritis accounts for 2.37% to 25% of all renal disease and 27.2% to 80.65% of renal disease associated with secondary glomerular diseases. The male-to-female ratio is approximately 1:5 in lupus nephritis patients. The included period is predominantly from 1995 to 2010. The proportion ratio of biopsy-proven lupus nephritis in all renal disease or in secondary glomerular disease significantly increased with decreasing latitude from the north to the south part of China. The population is predominantly Han Chinese.
Geographical distribution appears to be a risk factor for the incidence of biopsy-proven LN in China.
PMCID: PMC4013059  PMID: 24885458
Biopsy; Lupus nephritis; Geographical distribution; China
4.  Prevalence, Incidence and Demographics of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Lupus Nephritis among Medicaid-Enrolled U.S. Children, 2000–2004 
Arthritis and rheumatism  2012;64(8):2669-2676.
We investigated nationwide prevalence, incidence, and sociodemographics of SLE and lupus nephritis among Medicaid-enrolled children.
Children aged 3 to <18 years with SLE (≥3 International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, codes of 710.0, all >30 days apart) were identified from Medicaid Analytic eXtract data (2000–2004), containing all inpatient and outpatient Medicaid claims for 47 U. S states and the District of Columbia. Lupus nephritis was identified from ≥2 ICD-9 billing codes >30 days apart for glomerulonephritis, proteinuria or renal failure. We calculated prevalence and incidence of SLE and lupus nephritis among Medicaid-enrolled children overall and within sociodemographic groups.
Of 30,420,597 Medicaid-enrolled children during these years, 2,959 with SLE were identified. SLE prevalence was 9.73 (95% CI 9.38 – 10.08) per 100,000. Of these, 84% were female, 40% African-American, 25% Hispanic and 21% White; 42% resided in the South. 1,106 (37%) of children with SLE had lupus nephritis: prevalence 3.64 (95% CI 3.43 – 3.86) per 100,000. The average annual incidence of SLE was 2.22 (95% CI 2.05–2.40) and that of lupus nephritis was 0.72 (95%CI 0.63– 0.83) cases per 100,000 Medicaid enrollees per year. Prevalence and incidence rates of lupus and lupus nephritis increased with age, were higher in girls than boys, and in all non-White than White racial/ethnic groups.
SLE prevalence and incidence rates among Medicaid-enrolled children in the U.S. are high compared to studies in other populations. These represent the first population-based estimates of lupus nephritis prevalence and incidence in the U.S. to date.
PMCID: PMC3564552  PMID: 22847366
Systemic lupus erythematosus; pediatric; nephritis; incidence; prevalence; Medicaid; children; disparities
5.  How Does Cash and Counseling Affect Costs? 
Health Services Research  2007;42(1 Pt 2):488-509.
To test the effect of a consumer-directed model (Cash and Counseling) of Medicaid personal care services (PCS) or home-and community-based waiver services (HCBS) on the cost of Medicaid services.
Data Sources/Study Setting
Medicaid claims data were collected for all enrollees in the Cash and Counseling demonstration. Demonstration enrollees included those eligible for PCS (in Arkansas), those assessed to receive such services (in New Jersey), and recipients of Medicaid HCBS (in Florida). Enrollment occurred from December 1998 through April 2001. The follow-up period covered up to 24 months after enrollment.
Study Design
Demonstration volunteers were randomly assigned to have the option to participate in Cash and Counseling (the treatment group), or to receive Medicaid services as usual from an agency (the control group). Ordinary least squares regressions were used to estimate the effect of the program on costs for Medicaid PCS/waiver services and other Medicaid services, while controlling for consumers' preenrollment characteristics and preenrollment Medicaid spending. Models were estimated separately for nonelderly and elderly adults in each state and for children in Florida.
Data Extraction Methods
Each state supplied claims data for demonstration enrollees.
Principal Findings
Largely because the program increased consumers' ability to get the authorized amount of paid care, expenditures for personal care/waiver services were higher for the treatment group than for the control group in each state and age group, except among the elderly in Florida. Higher costs for personal care/waiver services were partially offset by savings in other Medicaid services, particularly those related to long-term care. During year 1, total Medicaid costs were generally higher for the treatment group than for the control group, with treatment–control cost differences ranging from 1 percent (and statistically insignificant) for the elderly in Florida to 17 percent for the elderly in Arkansas. In year 2, these cost differences were generally greater than in year 1. Only in Arkansas did the treatment–control difference in total cost shrink over time—to less than 5 percent (and statistically insignificant) in year 2.
Medicaid costs were generally higher under Cash and Counseling because those in the traditional system did not get the services they were entitled to. Compared with the treatment group, (1) control group members were less likely to receive any services at all (despite being authorized for them), and (2) service recipients received a lower proportion of the amount of care that was authorized. In addition, a flaw in Florida's reassessment procedures led to treatment group members receiving more generous benefit amounts than control group members. To keep total Medicaid costs per recipient at the level incurred under the traditional system, consumer-directed programs need to be carefully designed and closely monitored.
PMCID: PMC1955330  PMID: 17244294
Consumer-direction; personal care; costs
6.  Medicaid Markets and Pediatric Patient Safety in Hospitals 
Health Services Research  2007;42(5):1981-1998.
To examine the association of Medicaid market characteristics to potentially preventable adverse medical events for hospitalized children, controlling for patient- and hospital-level factors.
Data Sources/Study Setting
Two carefully selected Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) pediatric patient safety indicators (decubitus ulcers and laceration) are analyzed using the new pediatric-specific, risk-adjusting, patient safety algorithm from the AHRQ. All pediatric hospital discharges for patients age 0–17 in Florida, New York, and Wisconsin, and at risk of any of these two patient safety events, are examined for the years 1999–2001 (N=859,922).
Study Design
Logistic regression on the relevant pool of discharges estimates the probability an individual patient experiences one of the two PSI events.
Data Extraction Methods
Pediatric discharges from the 1999 to 2001 State Inpatient Databases (SIDs) from the AHRQ Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, merged with hospital-level data from the American Hospital Association's Annual Survey, Medicaid data obtained from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and state Medicaid offices, and private and Medicaid managed care enrollment data obtained from InterStudy, are used in the estimations.
Principal Findings
At the market level, patients in markets in which Medicaid payers face relatively little competition are more likely to experience a patient safety event (odds ratio [OR]=1.602), while patients in markets in which hospitals face relatively little competition are less likely to experience an adverse event (OR=0.686). At the patient-discharge and hospital levels, Medicaid characteristics are not significantly associated with the incidence of a pediatric patient safety event.
Our analysis offers additional insights to previous work and suggests a new factor—the Medicaid-payer market—as relevant to the issue of pediatric patient safety.
PMCID: PMC2254562  PMID: 17850529
Medicaid; patient safety; child health
7.  Geographic variation in cesarean delivery in the United States by payer 
The rate of cesarean delivery in the United States is variable across geographic areas. The aims of this study are two-fold: (1) to determine whether the geographic variation in cesarean delivery rate is consistent for private insurance and Medicaid (2) to identify the patient, population, and market factors associated with cesarean rate and determine if these factors vary by payer.
We used the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) State Inpatient Databases (SID) to measure the cesarean rate at the Core-Based Statistical Area (CBSA) level. We linked the hospitalization data to data from other national sources to measure population and market characteristics. We calculated unadjusted and risk-adjusted CBSA cesarean rates by payer. For the second aim, we estimated a hierarchical logistical model with the hospitalization as the unit of analysis to determine the factors associated with cesarean delivery.
The average CBSA cesarean rate for women with private insurance was higher (18.9 percent) than for women with Medicaid (16.4 percent). The factors predicting cesarean rate were largely consistent across payers, with the following exceptions: women under age 18 had a greater likelihood of cesarean section if they had Medicaid but had a greater likelihood of vaginal birth if they had private insurance; Asian and Native American women with private insurance had a greater likelihood of cesarean section but Asian and Native American women with Medicaid had a greater likelihood of vaginal birth. The percent African American in the population predicted increased cesarean rates for private insurance only; the number of acute care beds per capita predicted increased cesarean rate for women with Medicaid but not women with private insurance. Further we found the number of obstetricians/gynecologists per capita predicted increased cesarean rate for women with private insurance only, and the number of midwives per capita predicted increased vaginal birth rate for women with private insurance only.
Factors associated with geographic variation in cesarean delivery, a frequent and high-resource inpatient procedure, vary somewhat by payer. Using this information to identify areas for intervention is key to improving quality of care and reducing healthcare costs.
PMCID: PMC4241225  PMID: 25406813
Cesarean delivery rate; Geographic variation; Medicaid; Private insurance
8.  Identification and Validation of Lupus Nephritis Cases Using Administrative Data 
Lupus  2010;19(6):741-743.
Large administrative databases such as Medicaid billing databases could be used to study care and outcomes of lupus nephritis if these patients could be correctly identified from claims data. We aimed to develop and validate an algorithm for the correct identification of cases of lupus nephritis using ICD-9 billing codes. We used the Research Patient Data Resource (RPDR) query tool at our institution to identify patients with potential lupus nephritis. We compared four ICD-9 code based strategies, identifying patients seen between 2000 - 2007 with Medicaid medical insurance with greater than two claims for a diagnosis of SLE (ICD-9 code 710.0) and a combination of greater than two nephrologist visits and/or renal ICD-9 codes. We assessed performance using the positive predictive value (PPV). 234 subjects were identified and medical records reviewed. Our third strategy, based on a combination of lupus and renal ICD-9 codes and nephrologist encounter claims, had the highest PPV (88%) for the identification of patients with lupus nephritis. This strategy may offer a sound method of identifying patients with lupus nephritis for health services research in addition to serving as a model for using claims data as a way to better understand rare diseases such as lupus.
PMCID: PMC2964351  PMID: 20179167
Lupus nephritis; medical claims data
9.  Epidemiology and Sociodemographics of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Lupus Nephritis among U.S. Adults with Medicaid Coverage, 2000–2004 
Arthritis and rheumatism  2013;65(3):753-763.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and lupus nephritis (LN) disproportionately affect racial/ethnic minorities and lower socioeconomic status (SES) individuals. We investigated the epidemiology and sociodemographics of SLE and LN in the low-income U.S. Medicaid population.
We utilized Medicaid Analytic eXtract data, with billing claims from 47 states and Washington, D.C. for 23.9 million individuals, aged 18–65 years, enrolled in Medicaid for >3 months, 2000–2004. Individuals with SLE (> 3 visits, ICD-9 code 710.0, >30 days apart) and with LN (>2 ICD-9 codes for glomerulonephritis, proteinuria or renal failure) were identified. We calculated SLE and LN prevalence and incidence, stratified by sociodemographic categories, and adjusted for number of American College of Rheumatology (ACR) member rheumatologists and SES using a validated composite of U.S. Census variables.
We identified 34,339 individuals with SLE (prevalence = 143.7/100,000) and 7,388 (21.5%) with LN (prevalence = 30.9/100,000). SLE prevalence was 6 times higher among women, nearly double in African American compared to White women, and highest in the U.S. South. LN prevalence was higher among all racial/ethnic groups compared to Whites. The lowest SES areas had the highest prevalence; areas with the fewest ACR rheumatologists had the lowest. SLE incidence was 23.2/100,000 person-years, and LN incidence was 6.9/100,000 person-years, with similar sociodemographic trends.
In this nationwide Medicaid population, there was sociodemographic variation in SLE and LN prevalence and incidence. Understanding the increased burden of SLE and its complications in this low-income population has implications for resource allocation and access to subspecialty care.
PMCID: PMC3733212  PMID: 23203603
Systemic lupus erythematosus; lupus nephritis; epidemiology; socioeconomic factors; disparities
10.  Predictors of kidney biopsy complication among patients with systemic lupus erythematosus 
Lupus  2012;21(8):848-854.
Kidney biopsy is essential for the diagnosis and management of lupus nephritis. The risk of bleeding complication, however, is not defined in the systemic lupus erythematosus population. A retrospective cohort study was conducted to determine predictors of major and minor complications among patients with systemic lupus erythematosus undergoing percutaneous ultrasound-guided kidney biopsy. Major complications included bleeding necessitating intervention, hypotension requiring vasopressors or higher level of care or death. Minor complications included moderate or large (≥ 4 cm in largest diameter) perinephric hematoma, gross hematuria or voiding difficulties. All patients were observed for at least 23 h post-procedure. The overall incidence of bleeding was 10.5% (2.7% major, 7.8% minor). Adjusted logistic regression showed that for every 10,000 cells/mm3 decrease in platelet count, risk for major and any complication increased by 27% (odds ratio 1.27; 95% confidence intervals 1.06–1.51; p=0.01) and 8% (odds ratio 1.08; 95% confidence intervals 1.02–1.15; p=0.01), respectively. Patients with a platelet count <150,000 cells/mm3 were 30 times more likely to experience a major complication (p=0.002). Other candidate predictors, including steroid exposure, kidney function, hematocrit and histopathology, were not significant. Kidney biopsies are well tolerated in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. However, patients with pre-biopsy platelet counts <150,000 cells/mm3 are at markedly increased risk for a major bleeding complication.
PMCID: PMC3767126  PMID: 22415926
Renal lupus; nephritis; systemic lupus erythematosus; kidney biopsy; bleeding complication
11.  Systemic lupus erythematosus 
Clinical Evidence  2009;2009:1123.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) occurs predominantly in young women, but also in children. The prevalence of SLE varies widely worldwide, ranging from about 1 in 3500 women (regardless of race) in the UK, to 1 in 1000 women in China, to 1 in 250 African-American women in the USA.
Methods and outcomes
We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of treatments on joint symptoms (arthralgia/arthritis) and other non-organ-threatening symptoms (such as serositis and fatigue) in people with systemic lupus erythematosus? What are the effects of interventions for cutaneous involvement in people with systemic lupus erythematosus? What are the effects of treatments in people with proliferative lupus nephritis (WHO grades 3–5)? What are the effects of treatments for neuropsychiatric involvement in people with systemic lupus nephritis? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to December 2007 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically; please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
We found 11 systematic reviews or RCTs that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.
In this systematic review, we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: acitretin; antipsychotic drugs; chloroquine; combination corticosteroids plus immunosuppressants; corticosteroids; hydroxychloroquine; intravenous immunoglobulin; methotrexate; non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs); plasmapheresis; and sunblock.
Key Points
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic, multi-system, inflammatory connective tissue disorder of unknown cause that can involve joints, kidneys, serous surfaces, skin, and vessel walls. It occurs predominantly in young women, but also in children. The course of SLE is highly variable, involving non-organ-threatening symptoms (such as arthritis, arthralgia, and rashes), organ-threatening symptoms (such as lupus nephritis), and neuropsychiatric disorders (such as seizures and cognitive dysfunction).
The prevalence of SLE varies widely worldwide, ranging from about 1 in 3500 women (regardless of race) in the UK, to 1 in 1000 women in China, to 1 in 250 African-American women in the USA.
There is consensus that NSAIDs and corticosteroids are useful in relieving pain caused by arthralgia/arthritis, and pleuritis and pericarditis associated with SLE. We found no evidence that the well-documented adverse effects of NSAIDs differ in people with SLE. There is also consensus that corticosteroids and sunscreens are effective in reducing cutaneous manifestations of SLE.
Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine are likely to be effective in reducing arthritis, pleuritis, and pericarditis. They may also improve cutaneous symptoms. Methotrexate may also be effective for both joint and cutaneous symptoms, but is associated with adverse effects.
Combining immunosuppressants plus corticosteroids may be more effective than corticosteroids alone in people with lupus nephritis, but with an increase in adverse effects. We don't know how corticosteroids alone compare with immunosuppressants alone in people with proliferative lupus nephritis.
We don't know whether corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, plasmapheresis, or intravenous immunoglobulin are effective in people with neuropsychiatric symptoms of lupus. Most people with neuropsychiatric lupus and psychotic symptoms will be offered antipsychotic drugs to control symptoms unless there are contraindications, despite the lack of RCTs assessing their effectiveness.
PMCID: PMC2907829  PMID: 21696649
12.  Diabetes and the socioeconomic and built environment: geovisualization of disease prevalence and potential contextual associations using ring maps 
Efforts to stem the diabetes epidemic in the United States and other countries must take into account a complex array of individual, social, economic, and built environmental factors. Increasingly, scientists use information visualization tools to "make sense" of large multivariate data sets. Recently, ring map visualization has been explored as a means of depicting spatially referenced, multivariate data in a single information graphic. A ring map shows multiple attribute data sets as separate rings of information surrounding a base map of a particular geographic region of interest. In this study, ring maps were used to evaluate diabetes prevalence among adult South Carolina Medicaid recipients. In particular, county-level ring maps were used to evaluate disparities in diabetes prevalence among adult African Americans and Whites and to explore potential county-level associations between diabetes prevalence among adult African Americans and five measures of the socioeconomic and built environment—persistent poverty, unemployment, rurality, number of fast food restaurants per capita, and number of convenience stores per capita. Although Medicaid pays for the health care of approximately 15 percent of all diabetics, few studies have examined diabetes in adult Medicaid recipients at the county level. The present study thus addresses a critical information gap, while illustrating the utility of ring maps in multivariate investigations of population health and environmental context.
Ring maps showed substantial racial disparity in diabetes prevalence among adult Medicaid recipients and suggested an association between adult African American diabetes prevalence and rurality. Rurality was significantly positively associated with diabetes prevalence among adult African American Medicaid recipients in a multivariate statistical model.
Efforts to reduce diabetes among adult African American Medicaid recipients must extend to rural African Americans. Ring maps can be used to integrate diverse data sets, explore attribute associations, and achieve insights critical to the promotion of population health.
PMCID: PMC3066107  PMID: 21362176
13.  The Effect of Medicaid Payment Generosity on Access and Use among Beneficiaries 
Health Services Research  2005;40(3):723-744.
This study examines the effects of Medicaid payment generosity on access and care for adult and child Medicaid beneficiaries.
Data Source
Three years of the National Surveys of America's Families (1997, 1999, 2002) are linked to the Urban Institute Medicaid capitation rate surveys, the Area Resource File, and the American Hospital Association survey files.
Study Design
In order to identify the effect of payment generosity apart from unmeasured differences across areas, we compare the experiences of Medicaid beneficiaries with groups that should not be affected by Medicaid payment policies. To assure that these groups are comparable to Medicaid beneficiaries, we reweight the data using propensity score methods. We use a difference-in-differences model to assess the effects of Medicaid payment generosity on four categories of access and use measures (continuity of care, preventive care, visits, and perceptions of provider communication and quality of care).
Principal Findings
Higher payments increase the probability of having a usual source of care and the probability of having at least one visit to a doctor and other health professional for Medicaid adults, and produce more positive assessments of the health care received by adults and children. However, payment generosity has no effect on the other measures that we examined, such as the probability of receiving preventive care or the probability of having unmet needs.
Higher payment rates can improve some aspects of access and use for Medicaid beneficiaries, but the effects are not dramatic.
PMCID: PMC1361165  PMID: 15960688
Payment levels; Medicaid; access and use; propensity score methods
14.  Effect of a Community-Based Nursing Intervention on Mortality in Chronically Ill Older Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2012;9(7):e1001265.
Kenneth Coburn and colleagues report findings from a randomized trial evaluating the effects of a complex nursing intervention on mortality risk among older individuals diagnosed with chronic health conditions.
Improving the health of chronically ill older adults is a major challenge facing modern health care systems. A community-based nursing intervention developed by Health Quality Partners (HQP) was one of 15 different models of care coordination tested in randomized controlled trials within the Medicare Coordinated Care Demonstration (MCCD), a national US study. Evaluation of the HQP program began in 2002. The study reported here was designed to evaluate the survival impact of the HQP program versus usual care up to five years post-enrollment.
Methods and Findings
HQP enrolled 1,736 adults aged 65 and over, with one or more eligible chronic conditions (coronary artery disease, heart failure, diabetes, asthma, hypertension, or hyperlipidemia) during the first six years of the study. The intervention group (n = 873) was offered a comprehensive, integrated, and tightly managed system of care coordination, disease management, and preventive services provided by community-based nurse care managers working collaboratively with primary care providers. The control group (n = 863) received usual care. Overall, a 25% lower relative risk of death (hazard ratio [HR] 0.75 [95% CI 0.57–1.00], p = 0.047) was observed among intervention participants with 86 (9.9%) deaths in the intervention group and 111 (12.9%) deaths in the control group during a mean follow-up of 4.2 years. When covariates for sex, age group, primary diagnosis, perceived health, number of medications taken, hospital stays in the past 6 months, and tobacco use were included, the adjusted HR was 0.73 (95% CI 0.55–0.98, p = 0.033). Subgroup analyses did not demonstrate statistically significant interaction effects for any subgroup. No suspected program-related adverse events were identified.
The HQP model of community-based nurse care management appeared to reduce all-cause mortality in chronically ill older adults. Limitations of the study are that few low-income and non-white individuals were enrolled and implementation was in a single geographic region of the US. Additional research to confirm these findings and determine the model's scalability and generalizability is warranted.
Trial Registration NCT01071967
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
In almost every country in the world, the proportion of people aged over 60 years is growing faster than any other age group because of increased life expectancy. This demographic change has several implications for public health, especially as older age is a risk factor for many chronic diseases—diseases of long duration and generally slow progression. Chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes, are by far the leading cause of death in the world, representing almost two-thirds of all deaths. Therefore in most countries, the challenge of managing increasingly ageing populations who have chronic illnesses demands an urgent response and countries such as the United States are actively researching possible solutions.
Why Was This Study Done?
Some studies suggest that innovations in chronic disease management that are led by nurses may help address the epidemic of chronic diseases by increasing the quality and reducing the cost of care. However, to date, reports of the evaluation of such interventions lack rigor and do not provide evidence of improved long-term health outcomes or reduced health care costs. So in this study, the researchers used the gold standard of research, a randomized controlled trial, to examine the impact of a community-based nurse care management model for older adults with chronic illnesses in the United States as part of a series of studies supported by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers recruited eligible patients aged 65 years and over with heart failure, coronary heart disease, asthma, diabetes, hypertension, and/or hyperlipidemia who received traditional Medicare—a fee for service insurance scheme in which beneficiaries can choose to receive their care from any Medicare provider—from participating primary care practices in Pennsylvania. The researchers then categorized patients according to their risk on the basis of several factors including the number of chronic diseases each individual had before randomizing patients to receive usual care or the nurse-led intervention. The intervention included an individualized plan comprising education, symptom monitoring, medication, counseling for adherence, help identifying, arranging, and monitoring community health and social service referrals in addition to group interventions such as weight loss maintenance and exercise classes. The researchers checked whether any participating patients had died by using the online Social Security Death Master File. Then the researchers used a statistical model to calculate the risk of death in both groups.
Of the 1,736 patients the researchers recruited into the trial, 873 were randomized to receive the intervention and 863 were in the control group (usual care). The researchers found that 86 (9.9%) participants in the intervention group and 111 (12.9%) participants in the control group died during the study period, representing a 25% lower relative risk of death among the intervention group. However, when the researchers considered other factors, such as sex, age group, primary diagnosis, perceived health, number of medications taken, hospital stays in the past 6 months, and tobacco use in their statistical model, this risk was slightly altered—0.73 risk of death in the intervention group.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that that community-based nurse care management is associated with a reduction in all-cause mortality among older adults with chronic illnesses who are beneficiaries of the fee for service Medicare scheme in the United States. These findings also support the important role of nurses in improving health outcomes in this group of patients and show the feasibility of implementing this program in collaboration with primary care practices. Future research is needed to test the adaptability, scalability, and generalizability of this model of care.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
This study is further discussed in a PLoS Medicine Perspective by Arlene Bierman
Information about the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is available
The World Health Organization provides statistics on the prevalence of both chronic illness and ageing
Heath Quality Partners provide information about the study
PMCID: PMC3398966  PMID: 22815653
15.  Preferred drug lists: Potential impact on healthcare economics 
To analyze the implementation of Medicaid preferred drug lists (PDLs) in a number of states and determine its impact on quality of care and cost relative to other segments of healthcare.
We reviewed research and case studies found by searching library databases, primarily MEDLINE and EBSCOHost, and searching pertinent journals. Keywords initially included “drug lists,” “prior authorization,” “prior approval,” and “Medicaid.” We added terms such as “influence use of other healthcare services,” “quality of care,” and “overall economic impact.” We mainly used primary sources.
Based on our literature review, we determined that there are a number of issues regarding Medicaid PDLs that need to be addressed. Some issues include: (a) the potential for PDLs to influence the utilization of other healthcare services, (b) criteria used by Medicaid for determining acceptance of drugs onto a PDL, (c)the effect of PDL implementation on compliance to new regimens, (d) the potential effects of restricting medication availability on quality of care, (e) administrative costs associated with PDLs, and (f) satisfaction rates among patients and medical providers. This review highlighted expected short-term cost savings with limited degree of compromised quality of PDL implementation, but raised the concern about the potential long-term decline in quality of care and overall economic impact.
The number of concerns raised indicates that further studies are warranted regarding both short-term cost benefits as well as potential long-term effects of Medicaid PDL implementation. Objective analysis of these effects is necessary to ensure cost-effectiveness and quality of care.
PMCID: PMC2496984  PMID: 18561515
preferred drug lists; medicaid; healthcare costs; managed care
16.  Medicaid beneficiaries under managed care: provider choice and satisfaction. 
Health Services Research  1991;26(4):509-529.
This study describes patterns of choosing a provider and of consumer satisfaction among prepaid Medicaid beneficiaries in Monroe County, New York, and compares their level of satisfaction to that of fee-for-service Medicaid beneficiaries. Two interview surveys were conducted with AFDC and HR (general assistance) Medicaid eligibles, the first under the fee-for-service system servicing the Medicaid population, and the second 18 months after the introduction of a mandatory, prepaid managed care system for Medicaid beneficiaries. The results show significant ethnic differences in patient choice of provider and provider site. Given the choice, Medicaid beneficiaries switch from clinics as their usual source of care to private physician practice. Under prepayment, white Medicaid beneficiaries tripled their affiliations with private doctors, while "others" doubled theirs. The results also demonstrate higher levels of patient satisfaction with "humaneness of doctors" and with "quality of care" among those beneficiaries under prepaid care, than previously documented for those under fee-for-service. The evaluations of humaneness and quality of medical system may reflect the respondents' perceptions that the process of receiving care under prepaid, managed care is somehow different, no longer second class, and better that it was under the fee-for-service Medicaid.
PMCID: PMC1069838  PMID: 1917503
17.  Ambulatory care practice variation within a Medicaid program. 
Health Services Research  1996;30(6):751-770.
STUDY QUESTIONS: What is the extent of variation in patterns of ambulatory care practice across one state's Medicaid program once case mix is controlled for? How much of this variation in resource consumption is explained by factors linked to the provider, patient, and geographic subarea? DATA SOURCES/STUDY SETTING: Practices of all providers delivering care to persons who were continuously enrolled in the Maryland Medicaid program during FY 1988 were studied. A computerized summary of all services received during this year for 134,725 persons was developed using claims data. We also obtained data from the state's beneficiary and provider files and the American Medical Association's masterfile. Each patient was assigned a "usual source of care" (primary provider) based on the actual patterns of service. The Ambulatory Care Group (ACG) measure was used to help control for case mix. STUDY DESIGN: This was a cross-sectional study based on the universe of continuously enrolled Medicaid enrollees in one state. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: After controlling for case mix, the variation in patient resource use by type of primary provider was 19 percent for ambulatory visits, 46 percent for ancillary testing, 61 percent for prescriptions, and 81 percent for hospitalizations. Across Maryland counties, comparing the low- to high-use jurisdiction, there was 41 percent variation in case mix-adjusted visit rates, 72 percent variation in pharmacy use, and 325 percent variation in hospital days. At the individual practice level, physician characteristics explain up to 17 percent of ambulatory resource use and geographic area explains only a few percent, while patient characteristics explain up to 60 percent of variation. CONCLUSIONS: Since a large proportion of variation was explained by patient case mix, it is evident that risk adjustment is essential for these types of analyses. However, even after adjustment, resource use varies considerably across types of ambulatory care provider and region, with consequent implications for efficiency of health services delivery.
PMCID: PMC1070091  PMID: 8591928
18.  Usual Source of Care and Unmet Need Among Vulnerable Children: 1998–2006 
Pediatrics  2009;123(2):e214-e219.
The purpose of this work was to identify the proportions of publicly (Medicaid and State Child Health Insurance Program) insured and uninsured children who did not identify a usual source of care from 1998 to 2006, spanning the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (1997 to present) and the President’s Health Center Initiative (2002 to present), and to characterize unmet medical need as it relates to insurance and a usual source of care for publicly insured and uninsured children.
We conducted a secondary data analysis of multiple years of the National Health Interview Survey. We identified the proportion of publicly insured and uninsured children aged 0 to 17 years who did not identify a usual source of care and stratified according to the site of care. We described the odds of reporting an unmet medical need according to insurance status and usual source of care, compared with privately insured children with a usual source of care. Sample weights were used to derive national estimates.
From 1998 through 2006, there were significant increases in the proportions of children enrolled in Medicaid (16.7%–24.5%) and the State Child Health Insurance Program (2.0%–5.3%). The proportion of uninsured children has remained stable from 2002 to 2006 at ~10%. However, the proportion of uninsured reporting no usual source of care increased from 17.8% to 23.3%. Hispanic children had significant increases in the proportions of the uninsured and reporting no usual source of care by 2006. Hispanics constituted the largest proportion in both groups. Uninsured children and children without a usual source of care reported the highest odds of unmet need. Among the insured, publicly insured children had twice the odds of reporting an unmet need compared with privately insured children.
During the State Child Health Insurance Program and the President’s Health Center Initiative, growing proportions of uninsured children reported no usual source of care. Unmet medical need was the highest for the uninsured and those without a usual source of care. These findings suggest that initiatives designed to improve access to care must combine broadened insurance coverage with enhanced access to usual sources of care.
PMCID: PMC2787198  PMID: 19171573
usual source of care; Medicaid; SCHIP; uninsured; children; health center
19.  Managed Care and Preventable Hospitalization among Medicaid Adults 
Health Services Research  2004;39(3):489-510.
The study examines the association between managed care enrollment and preventable hospitalization patterns of adult Medicaid enrollees hospitalized in four states.
Data Sources/Study Setting
Hospital discharge data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) database of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) for New York (NY), Pennsylvania (PA), Wisconsin (WI), and Tennessee (TN) residents in the age group 20–64 hospitalized in those states, linked to the Area Resource File (ARF) and American Hospital Association (AHA) survey files for 1997.
Study Design
The study uses separate logistic models for each state comparing preventable admissions with marker admissions (urgent, insensitive to primary care). The model controls for socioeconomic and demographic variables, and severity of illness.
Principal Findings
Consistently in different states, private health maintenance organization (HMO) enrollment was associated with fewer preventable admissions than marker admissions, compared to private fee-for-service (FFS). However, Medicaid managed care enrollment was not associated with a reduction in preventable admissions, compared to Medicaid FFS.
Our analysis suggests that the preventable hospitalization pattern for private HMO enrollees differs significantly from that for commercial FFS enrollees. However, little difference is found between Medicaid HMO enrollees and Medicaid FFS patients. The findings did not vary by the level of Medicaid managed care penetration in the study states.
PMCID: PMC1361021  PMID: 15149475
Preventable hospitalization; ambulatory care sensitive admissions; Medicaid; managed care; HMO enrollment; access
20.  Horizontal equity in health care utilization in Brazil, 1998–2008 
This study assesses trends in horizontal equity in the utilization of healthcare services from 1998 to 2008--a period of major economic and social change in Brazil.
Data are from nationally representative surveys repeated in 1998, 2003, and 2008. We apply established methods for assessing horizontal inequity in healthcare access (the principle that people with the same healthcare needs should have similar access to healthcare services). Horizontal inequity is calculated as the difference between observed healthcare utilization and utilization predicted by healthcare needs. Outcomes examined include the probability of a medical, dental, or hospital visit during the past 12 months; any health service use in the past two weeks; and having a usual source of healthcare. We use monthly family income to measure differences in socioeconomic position. Healthcare needs include age, sex, self-rated health, and chronic conditions. Non-need factors include income, education, geography, health insurance, and Family Health Strategy coverage.
The probability of having at least one doctor visit in the past 12 months became substantially more equitable over time, ending with a slightly pro-rich orientation in 2008. Any hospitalization in the past 12 months was found to be pro-poor in all periods but became slightly less so in 2008. Dental visits showed the largest absolute decrease in horizontal inequity, although they were still the most inequitably (pro-rich) distributed outcome in 2008. Service use in the past two weeks showed decreased inequity in 2003 but exhibited no significant change between 2003 and 2008. Having a usual source of care became less pro-rich over time and was nearly income-neutral by 2008. Factors associated with greater inequities include income, having a private health plan, and geographic location. Factors associated with greater equity included health needs, schooling, and enrolment in the Family Health Strategy.
Healthcare utilization in Brazil appears to have become increasingly equitable over the past 10 years. Although this does not imply that equity in health outcomes has improved correspondingly, it does suggest that government policies aimed at increasing access, especially to primary care, have helped to make healthcare utilization in Brazil fairer over time.
PMCID: PMC3444440  PMID: 22720869
Healthcare; Brazil; Access to care; Primary care
21.  The Impact of Medicaid Managed Care on Pregnant Women in Ohio: A Cohort Analysis 
Health Services Research  2004;39(4 Pt 1):825-846.
To examine the impact of mandatory HMO enrollment for Medicaid-covered pregnant women on prenatal care use, smoking, Cesarean section (C-section) use, and birth weight.
Data Sources/Study Setting
Linked birth certificate and Medicaid enrollment data from July 1993 to June 1998 in 10 Ohio counties, 6 that implemented mandatory HMO enrollment, and 4 with low levels of voluntary enrollment (under 15 percent). Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) is analyzed separately; the other mandatory counties and the voluntary counties are grouped for analysis, due to small sample sizes.
Study Design
Women serve as their own controls, which helps to overcome the bias from unmeasured variables such as health beliefs and behavior. Changes in key outcomes between the first and second birth are compared between women who reside in mandatory HMO enrollment counties and those in voluntary enrollment counties. County of residence is the primary indicator of managed care status, since, in Ohio, women are allowed to “opt out” of HMO enrollment in mandatory counties in certain circumstances, leading to selection. As a secondary analysis, we compare women according to their HMO enrollment status at the first and second birth.
Data Collection/Extraction Methods
Linked birth certificate/enrollment data were used to identify 4,917 women with two deliveries covered by Medicaid, one prior to the implementation of mandatory HMO enrollment (mid-1996) and one following implementation. Data for individual births were linked over time using a scrambled maternal Medicaid identification number.
Principal Findings
The effects of HMO enrollment on prenatal care use and smoking were confined to Cuyahoga County, Ohio's largest county. In Cuyahoga, the implementation of mandatory enrollment was related to a significant deterioration in the timing of initiation of care, but an improvement in the number of prenatal visits. In that county also, women who smoked in their first pregnancy were less likely to smoke during the second pregnancy, compared to women in voluntary counties. Women residing in all the mandatory counties were less likely to have a repeat C-section. There were no effects on infant birth weight. The effects of women's own managed care status were inconsistent depending on the outcome examined; an interpretation of these results is hampered by selection issues. Changes over time in outcomes, both positive and negative, were more pronounced for African American women.
With careful implementation and attention to women's individual differences as in Ohio, outcomes for pregnant women may improve with Medicaid managed care implementation. Quality monitoring should continue as Medicaid managed care becomes more widespread. More research is needed to identify the types of health maintenance organization activities that lead to improved outcomes.
PMCID: PMC1361040  PMID: 15230930
Managed care; Medicaid; birth outcomes; prenatal care
22.  Access to Care and the Incidence of Endstage Renal Disease Due to Systemic Lupus Erythematosus 
The Journal of rheumatology  2010;37(6):1158-1163.
Persons with low socioeconomic status have an increased risk of endstage renal disease (ESRD) due to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), possibly because of limited access to care. We examined if the incidence of ESRD due to SLE was higher in geographic areas with poorer access to care.
In this population-based ecological study, we tested associations between the incidence of ESRD due to SLE and the proportion of hospitalizations with no insurance, Medicaid or managed care insurance, residence in a primary care-provider shortage area or rural area, and rate of hospitalizations for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions, by ZIP code in California in 1999–2004.
The incidence of ESRD due to SLE was higher in ZIP codes with higher proportions of hospitalizations with no insurance (r = 0.22, p < 0.0001) or Medicaid (r = 0.21, p < 0.0001), and in ZIP codes with higher rates of hospitalizations for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions (r = 0.23, p < 0.0001). In multivariate analyses, incidences were higher in ZIP codes with higher proportions of hospitalizations with Medicaid (p < 0.0001) and higher rates of hospitalizations for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions (p = 0.06), independent of the socioeconomic status of the ZIP code residents.
The incidence of ESRD due to SLE is higher in areas with higher proportions of residents who have public insurance and higher rates of avoidable hospitalizations, suggesting that limited access to care may contribute to this complication of SLE.
PMCID: PMC2952403  PMID: 20395647
23.  Prevalence and Predictors of Underinsurance Among Low-Income Adults 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2013;28(9):1136-1142.
Millions of adults will gain Medicaid or private insurance in 2014 under the Affordable Care Act, and prior research shows that underinsurance is common among middle-income adults. Less is known about underinsurance among low-income adults, particularly those with public insurance.
To compare rates of underinsurance among low-income adults with private versus public insurance, and to identify predictors of being underinsured.
Descriptive and multivariate analysis of data from the 2005–2008 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.
Adults 19–64 years of age with family income less than 125 % of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and full-year continuous coverage in one of four mutually exclusive insurance categories (N = 5,739): private insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, and combined Medicaid/Medicare coverage.
Prevalence of underinsurance among low-income adults, defined as out-of-pocket expenditures greater than 5 % of household income, delays/failure to obtain necessary medical care due to cost, or delays/failure to obtain necessary prescription medications due to cost.
Criteria for underinsurance were met by 34.5 % of low-income adults. Unadjusted rates of underinsurance were 37.7 % in private coverage, 26.0 % in Medicaid, 65.1 % in Medicare, and 45.1 % among Medicaid/Medicare dual enrollees. Among underinsured adults, household income averaged $6,181 and out-of-pocket spending averaged $1,115. Due to cost, 8.1 % and 12.8 % deferred or delayed obtaining medical care or prescription medications, respectively. Predictors of underinsurance included being White, unemployed, and in poor health. After multivariate adjustment, Medicaid recipients were significantly less likely to be underinsured than privately insured adults (OR 0.22, 95 % CI 0.17–0.28).
Greater than one-third of low-income adults nationally were underinsured. Medicaid recipients were less likely to be underinsured than privately insured adults, indicating potential benefits of expanded Medicaid under health care reform. Nonetheless, more than one-quarter of Medicaid recipients were underinsured, highlighting the importance of addressing cost-related barriers to care even among those with public coverage.
PMCID: PMC3744314  PMID: 23371419
underinsurance; health reform; Medicaid; low-income
24.  Commercial managed care plans leaving the Medicaid Managed Care Program in New York State: Impact on quality and access 
To develop sufficient managed care capacity to accomplish the goal of transitioning Medicaid recipients into managed care, state policymakers have relied on commercial health maintenance organizations to open their panels of providers to the Medicaid population. However, while commercial health maintenance organization involvement in Medicaid managed care was high initially, since 1996 New York State has had 14 commercial plans leave the New York State Medicaid Managed Care Program. It has been speculated that the exodus of these commercial plans would have a negative impact on Medicaid enrolleeś access and quality of care. This paper attempts to evaluate the impact of this departure from the perspective of quality and access measures and plan audit performance. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to evaluation the effect of commercial managed care plans leaving the Medicaid program. The overall performance of plans that remained in the program was compared to that of the plans that chose to leave for the two time periods 1996–1997 and 1998–2000. Access to care, quality of care, and annual audit performance data were analyzed. The departure of commercial health plans from the New York State Medicaid Managed Care Program has not had a statistically significant negative effect on the quality of care provided to Medicaid recipients as evaluated by standardized performance measures. In addition, there were no instances when there was a negative impact of the exit of the commercial plans on access to care. Managed care plans that chose to remain in Medicaid passed the Quality Assurance Reporting Requirements audit at a significantly (P<.01) higher rate than plans that chose to leave.
PMCID: PMC3456773  PMID: 11194302
Access to care; Commercial managed care; Health care delivery; Managed care; Medicaid managed care; Quality assessment
25.  Maternal and Fetal Outcomes in Pregnant Patients with Active Lupus Nephritis 
Lupus  2009;18(4):342-347.
The objective of this study was to determine the impact of lupus nephritis disease activity on maternal and fetal outcomes in pregnant patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Medical records of all pregnant patients with SLE treated at our institution between 1976 and 2007 were reviewed. All patients met American College of Rheumatology classification criteria for SLE. Demographic data, history of lupus nephritis, nephritis disease activity, and maternal and fetal outcomes of pregnancy were abstracted. Active lupus nephritis was defined as the presence of proteinuria > 0.5 g/day and/or active urinary sediment with or without an elevation in serum creatinine (Cr). Quiescent lupus nephritis was confirmed in the presence of proteinuria < 0.5 mg/day and inactive urinary sediment.
We identified fifty-eight patients with ninety pregnancies. Compared to pregnancies in SLE patients without renal involvement (n=47), pregnancies in patients with active lupus nephritis (n=23) were associated with a higher incidence of maternal complications (57% vs. 11%, p<0.001), whereas those with quiescent lupus nephritis (n=20) were not (35% vs. 11%, p=0.10). Women with active lupus nephritis were more likely to deliver preterm than women without lupus nephritis, median of 34 weeks vs. 40 gestational weeks, respectively (p=0.002), and were more likely to suffer fetal loss (35% vs 9%, p=0.031).
Active, but not quiescent, lupus nephritis during pregnancy is associated with a higher incidence of maternal and fetal complications compared to pregnancies in SLE patients without renal involvement.
PMCID: PMC2724676  PMID: 19276302
Pregnancy; Systemic lupus erythematosus; Lupus nephritis; Pregnancy outcomes; Preeclampsia

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