Dartmouth: Risk Adjustment Doesn’t Work
The new study by the Dartmouth Atlas Project, published today in the health journal BMJ, faults the practice of trying to assess how sick patients are by looking at records to see patient diagnoses. The authors argue that the more times patients see doctors or get tests, the more new diagnoses they are given. “The more one looks, the more one finds,” the authors wrote….
Medicare risk-adjusts when determining how much to pay private Medicare Advantage insurance plans. It also used risk adjustments when deciding that 2,217 hospitals should be penalized for having high rates of patient readmissions. Risk adjustment is also a key component in new models of delivering care, such as the accountable care organizations….
Without these risk adjustments to level the comparisons, a hospital with more frail and very ill patients—who are more likely to die — might incorrectly appear to be doing a worse job than a hospital with healthier patients — who are more likely to survive.
John C. Goodman is president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, a free-market think tank established in 1983. The Wall Street Journal and the National Journal have called Goodman the “Father of Health Savings Accounts.” Goodman’s health policy blog is the premier right-of-center health care blog on the Internet. It is the only place where pro-free enterprise, private sector ...