CMS Releases 2nd Report on Medicare Health Support

by Vince Kuraitis and Thomas Wilson, PhD, DrPH

CMS has just released the 2nd Report to Congress evaluating the Medicare Health Support (MHS) program. MHS is Medicare’s most visible and significant demo focusing on chronic disease management.

We’ve been poring over the report and will provide more detailed analysis and implications later this week. This 2nd Report to Congress covers 18 months of data on this 3 year project. It provides far more details and substantiation than RTI’s first report, which only covered 6 months data.

However, there’s nothing in here to change our January 2008 conclusion:  The rumors of MHS’s death have NOT been greatly exaggerated.

Here are the five key findings:

#1: Several vulnerable sub-populations of Medicare FFS beneficiaries were less likely to agree to participate in the MHS pilot program.

#2: The level of intervention of the participating beneficiaries is unlikely to produce significant behavioral change and savings.

#3: There was limited effect in improving beneficiary satisfaction, care experience, self-management, and physical and mental health functioning during the first 18-months of the Phase I pilot.

#4: Seven of the MHSOs had a positive intervention effect on one or more process-of-care measures but no positive intervention effect on reduction in acute care utilization or mortality.

#5: Fees accrued to date far exceed savings produced.

You can also read DMAA’s reaction to the report here.

One thought on “CMS Releases 2nd Report on Medicare Health Support

  1. one other item. It wasn’t just the 100% guarantee which discouraged innovative new vendors from responding. Public sector bids award a ton of points for experience. (Why do you think the same three vendors always win state Medicaid bids?)

    Also, as is often the case in the private sector and Medicaid, many bids simply would not get done at all if the 100% option were not available.

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