Study of the effect of risk-contracting on access and quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries

The Foundation's program, Changes in Health Care Financing and Organization, was designed for research, demonstration, and evaluation projects examining major changes in health care financing. The purpose of this project is to examine the effects of Medicare managed care on access and quality for the general population of managed care beneficiaries, with a particular focus on enrollees defined by the field as "vulnerable." Based on previous studies finding that managed care works best for those who know how to "work the system," the researchers hypothesize that vulnerable populations are more likely to experience difficulty in accessing needed care and are less likely to disenroll from an unsatisfactory plan than their nonvulnerable equivalents. The project will test this hypothesis at both the patient and plan levels, examining the following questions: (1) Do vulnerable populations enrolled in Medicare managed care receive different levels or quality of care than their less vulnerable counterparts? and (2) Do health plan characteristics (e.g., type of ownership, organizational structure, or experience with Medicare risk contracting) influence the level of care vulnerable populations receive? The goal is to provide policy makers with an analysis of the experiences of Medicare managed care enrollees.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $652,866.00

Awarded on: 1/17/2001

Time frame: 2/1/2001 - 1/31/2005

Grant Number: 41289


University of Southern California

University of Southern California
University Park Campus
Los Angeles, 90089-0001


Glenn A. Melnick
Project Director