Cover: Do Low-Income Medicare Patients Have Costlier Hospital Stays?

Do Low-Income Medicare Patients Have Costlier Hospital Stays?

Published 1993

by Gerald Kominski, Stephen H. Long

Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 1.7 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Medicare's Prospective Payment System (PPS) includes an adjustment that provides additional payments to hospitals that serve a disproportionately large share of low-income patients. the principal rationale for this adjustment is that low-income patients are costlier to treat, controlling for DRG. Only a few studies have directly examined this issue, however. These studies differ both over whether or not low-income patients are costlier to treat, and, if so, over how much costlier. The purpose of this study was to provide a more precise answer to these questions using data from the universe of low-income Medicare beneficiaries. Our findings indicate that, on average, low-income Medicare patients do not have costlier hospital stays compared to other Medicare patients. Overall, they had costs that were 0.20 percent lower than other Medicare patients.

This report is part of the RAND draft series. The unrestricted draft was a product of RAND from 1993 to 2003 that represented preliminary or prepublication versions of other more formal RAND products for distribution to appropriate external audiences. The draft could be considered similar to an academic discussion paper. Although unrestricted drafts had been approved for circulation, they were not usually formally edited or peer reviewed.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.