Volume 52 | Number 6 | December 2017

Abstract List

Ramandeep Kaur Ph.D., Jennifer N. Perloff Ph.D., Christopher Tompkins Ph.D., Christine E. Bishop Ph.D.


To evaluate whether Medicare‐style bundled payments are lower or higher for beneficiaries discharged from hospitals with postacute care () referrals concentrated among fewer providers.

Data Source

Medicare Part A and Part B claim (2008–2012) for all beneficiaries residing in any of 17 market areas: the Provider of Service file, the Healthcare Cost Report Information System, and the Dartmouth Atlas.

Study Design

An observational study in which hospitals were distinguished according to referral concentration, which is the tendency to utilize fewer rather than more providers. We tested the hypothesis that higher referral concentration would be associated with total Medicare bundled payments.

Data Collection/Extraction Methods

The data represent a convenience sample of market areas that were defined by the locations of grantees from the Beacon Community Program.

Principal Findings

The four most‐used providers accounted for an average of 60 percent of patients discharged from hospitals in the sample. Regression analysis suggested that higher referral concentration was associated with lower Medicare costs per bundle.


Hospitals that tend to use fewer providers may lead to lower costs for payers such as Medicare. The study results reinforce the importance of limited networks for services under bundling arrangements for hospital and payments.