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Psychometric evaluation of the Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plan disenrollment reasons survey

Objectives: To develop and assess the reliability and validity of composite measures of reasons for disenrollment from Medicare Advantage (MA) and prescription drug plans (PDPs).

Data Source: Medicare beneficiaries who responded to the Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan Disenrollment Reasons Survey.

Study Design: Separate multilevel factor analyses of MA and PDP data suggested groupings of survey items to form composite measures, for which internal consistency and interunit reliability were estimated. The association of each composite with an overall plan rating was examined to evaluate criterion validity.

Principal Findings: Five composites were identified: financial reasons for disenrollment; problems with prescription drug benefits and coverage; problems getting information and help from the plan; problems getting needed care, coverage, and cost information; and problems with coverage of doctors and hospitals. Beneficiarylevel internal consistency reliability exceeded 0.70 for all but one composite (financial reasons); planlevel internal consistency reliability exceeded 0.80 for all composites; average interunit reliability for plans with ≥ 30 survey completes exceeded 0.75 for 3 of 5 composites. As expected, greater endorsement of reasons for disenrollment was associated with lower overall plan ratings.

Conclusions: The Disenrollment Reasons Survey provides a reliable and valid assessment of beneficiaries' reasons for leaving their plans. Multiple reasons for disenrollment may indicate especially poor experiences.

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