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Is guideline-recommended therapy for coronary artery disease more likely in Medicare Advantage?

February 20, 2019

Bottom Line: Medicare Advantage is Medicare's managed-care alternative to traditional fee-for-service Medicare. Private insurance plans in Medicare Advantage have financial incentives to follow evidence-based guidelines but whether this results in better care for a long-term condition such as coronary artery disease isn't clear. This observational study included about 36,000 patients enrolled in Medicare Advantage and 173,000 enrolled in traditional fee-for-service Medicare who were diagnosed with coronary artery disease. Medicare Advantage beneficiaries were more likely to receive guideline-recommended therapy for coronary artery disease than those in traditional Medicare but there were no significant differences in blood pressure and cholesterol control. The study is limited by several factors, including an inability to know how long patients were on prescribed therapies, which can affect outcomes.

Authors: Jose F. Figueroa, M.D., M.P.H., Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, and coauthors.

(doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2019.0007)

Editor's Note: The article includes conflict of interest disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.
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JAMA Cardiology

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