Importance: There are marked racial/ethnic differences in hip and knee joint replacement care as well as concerns that value-based payments may exacerbate existing racial/ethnic disparities in care. Objective: To examine changes in joint replacement care associated with Medicare's Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model among White, Black, and Hispanic patients. Design, Setting, and Participants: Retrospective cohort study of Medicare claims from 2013 through 2017 among White, Black, and Hispanic patients undergoing joint replacement in 67 treatment (selected for CJR participation) and 103 control metropolitan statistical areas. Exposures: The CJR model holds hospitals accountable for spending and quality of joint replacement care during care episodes (index hospitalization through 90 days after discharge). Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcomes were spending, discharge to institutional postacute care, and readmission during care episodes. Results: Among 688 346 patients, 442 163 (64.2%) were women, and 87 286 (12.7%) were 85 years or older. Under CJR, spending decreased by $439 for White patients (95% CI, -$718 to -$161; from pre-CJR spending in treatment metropolitan statistical areas of $25 264) but did not change for Black patients and Hispanic patients. Discharges to institutional postacute care decreased for all groups (-2.5 percentage points; 95% CI, -4.7 to -0.4, from pre-CJR risk of 46.2% for White patients; -6.0 percentage points; 95% CI, -9.8 to -2.2, from pre-CJR risk of 59.5% for Black patients; and -4.3 percentage points; 95% CI, -7.6 to -1.0, from pre-CJR risk of 54.3% for Hispanic patients). Readmission risk decreased for Black patients by 3.1 percentage points (95% CI, -5.9 to -0.4, from pre-CJR risk of 21.8%) and did not change for White patients and Hispanic patients. Under CJR, Black-White differences in discharges to institutional postacute care decreased by 3.4 percentage points (95% CI, -6.4 to -0.5, from the pre-CJR Black-White difference of 13.3 percentage points). No evidence was found demonstrating that Black-White differences changed for other outcomes or that Hispanic-White differences changed for any outcomes under CJR. Conclusions and Relevance: In this cohort study of patients receiving joint replacements, CJR was associated with decreased readmissions for Black patients. Furthermore, Black patients experienced a greater decrease in discharges to institutional postacute care relative to White patients, representing relative improvements despite concerns that value-based payment models may exacerbate existing disparities. Nonetheless, differences between White and Black patients in joint replacement care still persisted even after these changes.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||JAMA Network Open|
|State||Published - Sep 1 2020|
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