This is interesting. Three different amigos ran the same previously unavailable Part C Medicare Advantage framework/bidding/rebate data as The Three Amigos from Harvard. The first Three Amigos wrote an article in the August 1 Journal of the American Medical Association and came up with a different conclusion than the new Three Amigos.
Actually, only 33% of the Amigos changed so appropriately it looks like only 33% of their findings changed. But it was an important finding.
Alleged Obamacare architect David Cutler took his sombrero out of the ring for this latest effort (which appeared in the September issue of The Journal of Managed Care) and was replaced by Beth Landrum (can’t tell if she is also from Harvard or not?). Is that change in Mexican hat dancers the reason that
- The Cutler-led trio hypothesized that adverse selection could be one of the three reasons that private insurers appeared to be more efficient than the government in delivering Medicare Part A and B benefits
- But this new trio said:
“Our findings do not seem to be attributable to adverse selection. We controlled for the average market-level CMS-HCC risk scores of the fee-for-service beneficiary population and the Medicare Advantage population. In our sensitivity analyses, omitting either of these risk scores did not appreciably change the resulting estimates”
-- Dennis Byron
NOTE: This odd change by two of the three Harvard professors being noted, the basic problem with the Harvard professors' findings is the same problem in the orginal research and the result still deserves a "D." This September research paper -- as well as the August 1 JAMA paper -- purports to prove that benchmark-based competitive bidding schemes to reform Medicare may not work well because the current benchmark-based Medicare Part C competitive bidding scheme that results in some insurers getting rebates cannot be proven to work well. But -- in addition to the illogical twist among the underline words -- no one is proposing a benchmark-based competitive bidding scheme with rebates for Medicare reform that I can find. So what's their point?
However the professors still deserve credit for proving something they didn't want to prove:
That private insurers working under a competitive bidding system would have delivered Medicare Parts A and B less expensively in 2009 than the MAC-based system delivered Medicare Parts A and B in 2009 IF Wyden-Ryan had been the law (and IF the insuers bid under Wyden-Ryan the way they bid under the 2009 fraework/bidding/rebate rules).