• Impact of the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit on Geographic Variation in Dementia Diagnosis

      Hanna, Maya; Perfetto, Eleanor M. (2020)
      Background: Alzheimer's-disease-and-related-dementia (ADRD) is often misdiagnosed or diagnosis is late in disease progression. Diagnosis variations can be driven by access variations related to geographic location. To improve timely and accurate ADRD diagnosis, the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit (AWV) required a cognitive assessment, starting in 2011, which may reduce diagnosis variations. Objective: Assess impact of the AWV on geographic variation in ADRD diagnosis and outcomes. Methods: Aim 1: ADRD patients and caregivers from western, central, and eastern Maryland were interviewed to understand diagnosis-pathway geographic differences. Data were analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis to identify themes. Aim 2: Using the CMS Chronic Condition Data Warehouse (CCW) and HRSA Area Health Resource Files, 5-year, county-level ADRD cumulative incidence were compared pre- (2006-2010) and post- (2011-2015) AWV implementation in Mid-Atlantic states. Geographically-weighted, generalized linear models assessed the association between the AWV and ADRD cumulative incidence, controlling for demographic and access measures. Aim 3: A retrospective cohort study using CCW was conducted in newly diagnosed ADRD individuals. Health care utilization (HCU) was compared for individuals with an AWV pre-diagnosis versus no AWV. Difference-in-difference models assessed 10-month outcomes between exposure groups. Results: Aim 1: Average time from first doctor visit (concerning signs/symptoms) to ADRD diagnosis was 3.3, 2, and 5.3 years for western, central, and eastern regions, respectively. Aim 2: AWV participation was not significantly associated with increased 5-year ADRD cumulative incidence. The association between AWV and 5-year ADRD cumulative incidence varied by county with stronger associations clustered in eastern Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware. Aim 3: Receiving an AWV pre-diagnosis was associated with increased HCU [ED (rate ratio [RR]: 1.20, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.11, 1.30), hospitalizations (RR: 1.26, 95% CI: 1.13, 1.40), and outpatient (RR: 1.08, 95% CI: 1.04, 1.12)]. Conclusions: Longer times to ADRD diagnosis were observed in rural versus urban regions. The AWV demonstrates the potential to minimize geographic differences by increasing diagnosis rates and HCU. Due to low and variable participation during early implementation, the true impact of the AWV is yet to be established. It may take longer to see impacts on longer-term outcomes.
    • Predictors and subsequent healthcare utilization associated with CDC-guideline opioid thresholds among commercially insured new chronic opioid users

      Calabrese, Martin Joseph; Shaya, Fadia T.; 0000-0003-4304-396X (2022)
      Background: The receipt and subsequent healthcare utilization surrounding new chronic opioid users (NCOUs) is multifactorial and includes clinical, demographic, and state-level factors. This study evaluated i) predictors for receipt of chronic opioid therapy informed by CDC-guideline morphine milligram equivalent (MME)/day recommendations and the short-term healthcare utilization measured by ii) total healthcare costs and iii) all-cause hospitalization after new chronic opioid use. Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study using IQVIA PharMetrics® Plus for Academics commercial claims with NCOUs identified between January 2014 through March 2015. NCOUs were defined as having at least 60-days coverage of opioids within a 90-day period with at least a 30-day opioid-free period prior to the date of the first qualifying opioid prescription. The short-term healthcare observation period began the 91st day or the day after last day coverage of the chronic opioid period, whichever is sooner. We placed NCOUs in one of three-tiered risk-based opioid thresholds categories: low (> 0 to < 50 MME/day), medium (≥ 50 to < 90 MME/day), and high (≥ 90 MME/day). A multinomial logistic regression was used to evaluate the impact of prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) rigor on the receipt of respective opioid thresholds. A generalized linear model and multivariable logistic regression was utilized to evaluate the incremental total healthcare costs (ITHC) and odds of incurring a hospitalization between the thresholds, respectively. Results: A total of 16,684 NCOUs were identified. Among the NCOUs, a state with high PDMP robustness had lower odds of receiving medium (0.74; 0.62-0.90) and high (0.74; 0.59-0.92) thresholds when compared to low. When compared to low, medium and high were found to have higher ITHC, (US$, 95% Confidence Interval [CI]) $1,429 (947-1,911) and $1,775 (1,183-2,368), respectively. When compared to medium, the ITHC for high $267 (-310-844) was non-significant. When evaluating odds of all-cause hospitalization (adjusted odds; 95% CI), when compared to low, no difference was identified with medium (1.01; 0.94-1.28) or high (1.01; 0.84-1.22). Conclusion: Among NCOUs, PDMP robustness was found to decrease the odds of subsequent receipt of higher thresholds. However, short-term healthcare costs and all-cause hospitalization did not differ among the thresholds.