A quantitative analysis of the relationship between medicare payment and service volume for glaucoma procedures from 2005 through 2009

Dan Gong, Lin Jun, James C. Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose To calculate the association between Medicare payment and service volume for 6 commonly performed glaucoma procedures. Design Retrospective, longitudinal database study. Subjects A 100% dataset of all glaucoma procedures performed on Medicare Part B beneficiaries within the United States from 2005 to 2009. Methods Fixed-effects regression model using Medicare Part B carrier data for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, controlling for time-invariant carrier-specific characteristics, national trends in glaucoma service volume, Medicare beneficiary population, number of ophthalmologists, and income per capita. Main Outcome Measures Payment-volume elasticities, defined as the percent change in service volume per 1% change in Medicare payment, for laser trabeculoplasty (Current Procedural Terminology [CPT] code 65855), trabeculectomy without previous surgery (CPT code 66170), trabeculectomy with previous surgery (CPT code 66172), aqueous shunt to reservoir (CPT code 66180), laser iridotomy (CPT code 66761), and scleral reinforcement with graft (CPT code 67255). Results The payment-volume elasticity was nonsignificant for 4 of 6 procedures studied: laser trabeculoplasty (elasticity, -0.27; 95% confidence interval [CI], -1.31 to 0.77; P = 0.61), trabeculectomy without previous surgery (elasticity, -0.42; 95% CI, -0.85 to 0.01; P = 0.053), trabeculectomy with previous surgery (elasticity, -0.28; 95% CI, -0.83 to 0.28; P = 0.32), and aqueous shunt to reservoir (elasticity, -0.47; 95% CI, -3.32 to 2.37; P = 0.74). Two procedures yielded significant associations between Medicare payment and service volume. For laser iridotomy, the payment-volume elasticity was -1.06 (95% CI, -1.39 to -0.72; P < 0.001): for every 1% decrease in CPT code 66761 payment, laser iridotomy service volume increased by 1.06%. For scleral reinforcement with graft, the payment-volume elasticity was -2.92 (95% CI, -5.72 to -0.12; P = 0.041): for every 1% decrease in CPT code 67255 payment, scleral reinforcement with graft service volume increased by 2.92%. Conclusions This study calculated the association between Medicare payment and service volume for 6 commonly performed glaucoma procedures and found varying magnitudes of payment-volume elasticities, suggesting that the volume response to changes in Medicare payments, if present, is not uniform across all Medicare procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1049-1055
Number of pages7
JournalOphthalmology
Volume122
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2015
Externally publishedYes

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