Real-Time Monitoring

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Acumen has extensive experience providing policymakers with easily accessible information and tools for monitoring health care program operations and outcomes after a policy change or program rollout. When government agencies roll out major programs and policy changes, they often require support to ensure that such changes are not limiting access to care or contributing to other negative health outcomes.

Acumen’s monitoring capabilities involve claims-based analyses to provide both real-time and point-in-time monitoring to understand the effects of policy changes, both nationally and within subgroups of interest (e.g., by state, gender, and age). Acumen also leverages interactive monitoring reports (IMRs), an Acumen-developed web tool that allows customized trend analysis against multiple indicators of interest to enable clients to track outcomes for select beneficiary populations through a user friendly interface.

Acumen supplements our quantitative analysis with our ability to gather qualitative data rapidly by convening technical expert panels (TEPs); conducting environmental scans, site visits, semi- structured interviews, and focus groups; and developing logic models to organize and map program operations.

DME Competitive Bidding Monitoring; 2010-2017; Prepared for the Center for Medicare (CM)

Acumen works with CMS to monitor the effects of the Competitive Bidding Program (CBP) and identify areas of improvement. Due to the Medicare DME benefit’s vulnerability to fraud and waste, the 2003 Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act required competitive bidding for certain DME items be phased in over time. Under the CBP, competitively selected suppliers are allowed to furnish DME items to beneficiaries in designated competitive bidding areas. Acumen works with CMS to monitor the effects of the CBP, and to identify areas of improvement.

Acumen’s approach to real-time monitoring for the CBP draws on our deep knowledge of Medicare claims data and our ability to process large amounts of data efficiently. To assess all possible impacts of the CBP, Acumen looks at product usage and outcome metrics across a wide variety of populations.

In total, Acumen’s real-time monitoring system examines over 60,000 usage and outcome data points and is updated every two weeks. These data points are presented within a dynamic data visualization tool, allowing our clients to access and visualize data over several years for each region and beneficiary subpopulation. Beginning in April 2011, CM began releasing health outcome data from Acumen’s monitoring program to the public. For more information, visit the Health Status Monitoring site.