Prior studies using aggregated data suggest that better care coordination is associated with higher performance on measures of clinical care process; it is unclear whether this relationship reflects care coordination activities of health plans or physician practices.
Estimate within-plan relationships between beneficiary-reported care coordination measures and HEDIS measures of clinical process for the same individuals.
Mixed-effect regression models in cross-sectional data.
2013 Medicare Advantage CAHPS respondents (n=152,069) with care coordination items linked to independently collected HEDIS data on clinical processes.
Care coordination measures assessed follow-up, whether doctors had medical records during visits, whether doctors discussed medicines being taken, how informed doctors seemed about specialist care, and help received with managing care among different providers. HEDIS measures included mammography, colorectal cancer screening, cardiovascular LDL-C screening, controlling blood pressure, 5 diabetes care measures (LDL-C screening, retinal eye exam, nephropathy, blood sugar/HbA1c <9%, LCL-C<100 mg/dL), glaucoma screening in older adults, BMI assessment, osteoporosis management for women with a fracture, and rheumatoid arthritis therapy.
For 9 of the 13 HEDIS measures, within health plans, beneficiaries who reported better care coordination also received better clinical care (p<0.05) and none of the associations went in the opposite direction; HEDIS differences between those with excellent and poor coordination exceeded 5 percentage points for 7 measures. Nine measures had positive associations (breast cancer screening, colorectal cancer screening, cardiovascular care LDL-C screening, 4 of 5 diabetes care measures, osteoporosis management, and rheumatoid arthritis therapy).
Within health plans, beneficiaries who report better care coordination also received higher-quality clinical care, particularly for care processes that entail organizing patient care activities and sharing information among different healthcare providers. These results extend prior research showing that health plans with better beneficiary-reported care coordination achieved higher HEDIS performance scores.
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The authors would like to thank Biayna Darabidian for the preparation of the manuscript.
Funding for this study was provided by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (Contract HHSM-500-2017-00083G).
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Elliott, M.N., Adams, J.L., Klein, D.J. et al. Patient-Reported Care Coordination is Associated with Better Performance on Clinical Care Measures. J GEN INTERN MED (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11606-021-07122-8
- patient experience
- quality of ambulatory care
- Medicare Advantage CAHPS
- care continuity