Abstract 5921: Medicare Beneficiaries with Mild to Severe Heart Failure See 15–23 Different Providers Annually
In fiscal year 2003, Medicare beneficiaries with heart failure (HF) accounted for 37% of all Medicare spending and nearly 50% of all hospital inpatient costs. On average, each beneficiary had 10.3 outpatient and 2 inpatient visits specifically for HF. Despite significant improvements in medical care for HF, mortality and hospital admissions remain high. No data exist regarding the number of providers ordering and providing care for this population. An analysis of fiscal year 2005 Medicare claims was conducted, using a 5% sample standard analytic and denominator file, limited data set version to extrapolate the 34,150,200 Medicare beneficiaries. Three cohorts were defined according to mild, moderate, severe HF employing the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Hierarchical Condition Categories Model and Chronic Care Improvement Program definitions. HMO enrollees, persons without Part A and Part B coverage, and those outside the United States were excluded. We identified physicians by using the unique physician identification number of performing physicians. Based on inclusion criteria, 173,863 beneficiaries were identified. The average number of providers providing care in all sites were 15.9, 18.6, 23.1 for beneficiaries with mild, moderate, and severe HF, respectively; and 10.1, 11.5, and 12.1 in the outpatient setting, respectively. The average number of providers ordering care in all sites consisted of 8.3, 9.6, and 11.2 for beneficiaries with mild, moderate, and severe HF, respectively; and 6.5,7.3, and 7.8 in the outpatient setting, respectively. For beneficiaries with mild disease, only 10% of all office visits were specifically for HF, while those with moderate or severe disease, only 20% were specifically for HF. Medicare beneficiaries with HF, even those with mild disease, have a large number of providers ordering and providing care. These data highlight the importance for developing systems and processes of coordinated care for this population.