Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Med Care. 2000 Jan;38(1):90-8.

Understanding dual enrollees' use of Medicare home health services: the effects of differences in Medicaid home care programs.

Author information

Health Policy Center, The Urban Institute, Washington, DC 20037, USA.



Both the Medicare and Medicaid programs have experienced considerable growth in spending on home care in recent years. As policymakers adopt measures (such as those legislated in the Balanced Budget Act of 1997) to curb the rate of spending growth on home care services, it is important to understand interactions between the Medicare and Medicaid home care programs in serving the dually enrolled population. This study examines the potential effects of the Medicaid home care program on Medicare home health utilization using multivariate models.


The study relied on data from the Health Care Financing Administration's Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS), a longitudinal survey of Medicare enrollees. The primary MCBS file used was from Round 1 of the survey, which was fielded between September and December 1991. The unit of analysis was individuals. The authors used descriptive and multivariate methods to explore the relationship between Medicare coverage and state home care program characteristics. Included were variables that have been found to be significant determinants of Medicare home health utilization in other studies as well as variables to indicate the availability and generosity of Medicaid home care services in each state represented in the survey.


The findings were consistent with those of previous studies, in that dual enrollees were disproportionate users of Medicare home health services, accounting for only 16% of enrollees but receiving 40% of all visits. In addition, lower levels of Medicare home health use were observed in states with relatively higher Medicaid spending on home health and personal care services, but this relationship appeared to be heavily dominated by the inclusion of enrollees living in New York State. When individuals from New York were excluded from the analysis, we found a negative but statistically significant relationship between Medicaid outlays on home health and personal care services and Medicare home health utilization.


Because the Medicare and Medicaid programs are interconnected through the sizable dual enrollee population, changes in one program are likely to have ramifications for the other. This study presents another step in exploring how the two programs interact and emphasizes the fact that costs can be shifted between the two programs as policy changes are made to control the rate of home care spending growth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
    Loading ...
    Support Center