Study finds Maryland's all-payer program contained costs, but didn’t change care delivery

After two years under an all-payer model, Maryland hospitals have reduced healthcare spending, but have not reduced unnecessary hospital utilization or moved more patients into a primary care setting, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine and featured by The Baltimore Sun.

In 2014, Maryland put most hospitals on an all-payer global budget, in which hospitals receive a fixed payment for services and all payers must pay the same rates. The goal of the program is to cap budgets so hospitals can shift their focus from filling beds to improving the health of patient populations.

However, after comparing hospitals in eight Maryland counties to hospitals in 27 counties outside of Maryland before and after the payment change, the researchers were not able to find evidence Maryland's program reduced hospital use or encouraged primary care use.

Another study indicated the program has been successful in reducing hospital readmissions, according to The Baltimore Sun. An author of that study told the Sun he believes it will take five to 10 years for the model to make consistent changes in care delivery.  

 

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