Association of Medicare Advantage vs Traditional Medicare with 30-Day Mortality among Patients with Acute Myocardial Infarction

Bruce E. Landon, Timothy S. Anderson, Vilsa E. Curto, Peter Cram, Christina Fu, Gabe Weinreb, Alan M. Zaslavsky, John Z. Ayanian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Importance: Medicare Advantage health plans covered 37% of beneficiaries in 2018, and coverage increased to 48% in 2022. Whether Medicare Advantage plans provide similar care for patients presenting with specific clinical conditions is unknown. Objective: To compare 30-day mortality and treatment for Medicare Advantage and traditional Medicare patients presenting with acute myocardial infarction (MI) from 2009 to 2018. Design, Setting, and Participants: Retrospective cohort study that included 557309 participants with ST-segment elevation [acute] MI (STEMI) and 1670193 with non-ST-segment elevation [acute] MI (NSTEMI) presenting to US hospitals from 2009-2018 (date of final follow up, December 31, 2019). Exposures: Enrollment in Medicare Advantage vs traditional Medicare. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome was adjusted 30-day mortality. Secondary outcomes included age- and sex-adjusted rates of procedure use (catheterization, revascularization), postdischarge medication prescriptions and adherence, and measures of health system performance (intensive care unit [ICU] admission and 30-day readmissions). Results: The study included a total of 2227502 participants, and the mean age in 2018 ranged from 76.9 years (Medicare Advantage STEMI) to 79.3 years (traditional Medicare NSTEMI), with similar proportions of female patients in Medicare Advantage and traditional Medicare (41.4% vs 41.9% for STEMI in 2018). Enrollment in Medicare Advantage vs traditional Medicare was associated with significantly lower adjusted 30-day mortality rates in 2009 (19.1% vs 20.6% for STEMI; difference, -1.5 percentage points [95% CI, -2.2 to -0.7] and 12.0% vs 12.5% for NSTEMI; difference, -0.5 percentage points [95% CI, -0.9% to -0.1%]). By 2018, mortality had declined in all groups, and there were no longer statically significant differences between Medicare Advantage (17.7%) and traditional Medicare (17.8%) for STEMI (difference, 0.0 percentage points [95% CI, -0.7 to 0.6]) or between Medicare Advantage (10.9%) and traditional Medicare (11.1%) for NSTEMI (difference, -0.2 percentage points [95% CI, -0.4 to 0.1]). By 2018, there was no statistically significant difference in standardized 90-day revascularization rates between Medicare Advantage and traditional Medicare. Rates of guideline-recommended medication prescriptions were significantly higher in Medicare Advantage (91.7%) vs traditional Medicare patients (89.0%) who received a statin prescription (difference, 2.7 percentage points [95% CI, 1.2 to 4.2] for 2018 STEMI). Medicare Advantage patients were significantly less likely to be admitted to an ICU than traditional Medicare patients (for 2018 STEMI, 50.3% vs 51.2%; difference, -0.9 percentage points [95% CI, -1.8 to 0.0]) and significantly more likely to be discharged to home rather than to a postacute facility (for 2018 STEMI, 71.5% vs 70.2%; difference, 1.3 percentage points [95% CI, 0.5 to 2.1]). Adjusted 30-day readmission rates were consistently lower in Medicare Advantage than in traditional Medicare (for 2009 STEMI, 13.8% vs 15.2%; difference, -1.3 percentage points [95% CI, -2.0 to -0.6]; and for 2018 STEMI, 11.2% vs 11.9%; difference, 0.6 percentage points [95% CI, -1.5 to 0.0]). Conclusions and Relevance: Among Medicare beneficiaries with acute MI, enrollment in Medicare Advantage, compared with traditional Medicare, was significantly associated with modestly lower rates of 30-day mortality in 2009, and the difference was no longer statistically significant by 2018. These findings, considered with other outcomes, may provide insight into differences in treatment and outcomes by Medicare insurance type..

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2126-2135
Number of pages10
JournalJAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association
Volume328
Issue number21
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 6 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine

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