Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Evaluation of Spending Differences Between Beneficiaries in Medicare Advantage and the Medicare Shared Savings Program.

Parikh RB, Emanuel EJ, Brensinger CM, Boyle CW, Price-Haywood EG, Burton JH, Heltz SB, Navathe AS. Evaluation of Spending Differences Between Beneficiaries in Medicare Advantage and the Medicare Shared Savings Program. JAMA Network Open. 2022 Aug 1; 5(8):e2228529.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


Importance: The 2 primary efforts of Medicare to advance value-based care are Medicare Advantage (MA) and the fee-for-service-based Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP). It is unknown how spending differs between the 2 programs after accounting for differences in patient clinical risk. Objective: To examine how spending and utilization differ between MA and MSSP beneficiaries after accounting for differences in clinical risk using data from administrative claims and electronic health records. Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective economic evaluation used data from 15?763 propensity score-matched beneficiaries who were continuously enrolled in MA or MSSP from January 1, 2014, to December 31, 2018, with diabetes, congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic kidney disease (CKD), or hypertension. Participants received care at a large nonprofit academic health system in the southern United States that bears risk for Medicare beneficiaries through both the MA and MSSP programs. Differences in beneficiary risk were mitigated by propensity score matching using validated clinical criteria based on data from administrative claims and electronic health records. Data were analyzed from January 2019 to May 2022. Exposures: Enrollment in MA or attribution to an accountable care organization in the MSSP program. Main Outcomes and Measures: Per-beneficiary annual total spending and subcomponents, including inpatient hospital, outpatient hospital, skilled nursing facility, emergency department, primary care, and specialist spending. Results: The sample of 15?763 participants included 12?720 (81%) MA and 3043 (19%) MSSP beneficiaries. MA beneficiaries, compared with MSSP beneficiaries, were more likely to be older (median [IQR] age, 75.0 [69.9-81.8] years vs 73.1 [68.3-79.8] years), male (5515 [43%] vs 1119 [37%]), and White (9644 [76%] vs 2046 [69%]) and less likely to live in low-income zip codes (2338 [19%] vs 750 [25%]). The mean unadjusted per-member per-year spending difference between MSSP and MA disease-specific subcohorts was $2159 in diabetes, $4074 in CHF, $2560 in CKD, and $2330 in hypertension. After matching on clinical risk and demographic factors, MSSP spending was higher for patients with diabetes (mean per-member per-year spending difference in 2015: $2454; 95% CI, $1431-$3574), CHF ($3699; 95% CI, $1235-$6523), CKD ($2478; 95% CI, $1172-$3920), and hypertension ($2258; 95% CI, $1616-2,939). Higher MSSP spending among matched beneficiaries was consistent over time. In the matched cohort in 2018, MSSP total spending ranged from 23% (CHF) to 30% (CKD) higher than MA. Adjusting for differential trends in coding intensity did not affect these results. Higher outpatient hospital spending among MSSP beneficiaries contributed most to spending differences between MSSP and MA, representing 49% to 62% of spending differences across disease cohorts. Conclusions and Relevance: In this study, utilization and spending were consistently higher for MSSP than MA beneficiaries within the same health system even after adjusting for granular metrics of clinical risk. Nonclinical factors likely contribute to the large differences in MA vs MSSP spending, which may create challenges for health systems participating in MSSP relative to their participation in MA.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.