Wednesday April 24, 2013
9:30AM - 10:45AM
Rodney P. Parker
Associate Professor of Operations Management
University of Chicago, Booth School of Business
¿On Hospice Operations under Medicare Reimbursement Policies¿
This paper analyzes the United States Medicare hospice reimbursement policy. The existing policy consists of a daily payment for each patient under care with a global cap of revenues accrued during the Medicare year, which increases for each newly admitted patient. We investigate the hospice's expected profit and provide reasons for a spate of recent provider bankruptcies related to the reimbursement policy; recommendations to alleviate these problems are given. We also analyze a hospice's incentives for patient management, finding several unintended consequences of the Medicare reimbursement policy. Specifically, a hospice may seek short-lived patients (such as cancer patients) over patients with longer expected length-of-stay and the effort with which they seek-out, or recruit, such patients will vary during the year. Further, the effort they apply to actively discharge patients whose condition has stabilized may also depend on the time of year. These phenomena are unintended and undesirable but are a direct consequence of the Medicare reimbursement policy. We propose an alternative reimbursement policy which ameliorates these shortcomings.