HCFO Findings Brief: Program Features and Targeting Are the Keys to Successful Medicare Care Coordination Interventions

December 2012

Policymakers seeking to slow the growth in Medicare spending are increasingly exploring care coordination interventions involving beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions.  In a HCFO-funded study, Randall Brown, Ph.D., Deborah Peikes, Ph.D., and colleagues at Mathematica Policy Research took a closer look at the programs in the Medicare Coordinated Care Demonstration in order to assess which interventions worked and for whom.  The researchers found that while the 11 programs they examined did not reduce hospitalizations among enrollees overall, four of the programs were successful among individuals with a high risk of near-term hospitalization.  Furthermore, these four programs were cost-neutral.  The researchers went on to identify six distinguishing features that were present in at least three of the four successful programs but were absent in all or most of the five unsuccessful programs for which they had complete data.