KPI Ninja’s Nextera study: a “single blunder” introduction

The KPI Ninja report on Nextera’s school district program claims big savings when employees chose Nextera’s direct primary care rather than traditional primary care. But the analysis reflects inadequacy of a high order. Here’s a starter course of cluelessness, actually one the report’s smaller problems. The report ignored the effect of an HRA made availableContinue reading “KPI Ninja’s Nextera study: a “single blunder” introduction”

Nextera did not reduce inpatient hospital admissions by 92.7%.

Abstract: KPI Ninja’s report on Nextera’s direct primary care plan for employees of a Colorado school district clinic claims profoundly good results: nearly $1000 per year in savings for every Nextera clinic member and a staggering 93.7% reduction in inpatient hospital admissions. Both claims rest on the proposition that a population of middle-aged. middle-class, white-color,Continue reading “Nextera did not reduce inpatient hospital admissions by 92.7%.”

Nextera’s Next Era in Cherry-Picking Machine Design

Note: revised and redated for proximity to related material. Original version June 27, 2020. In June of 2020, Nextera HealthCare had a hot new brag: These results were not risk adjusted. But they desperately needed to be. The St Vrain Valley School District had this health benefit structure for its employees during the period studied:Continue reading “Nextera’s Next Era in Cherry-Picking Machine Design”

Medi-Share gives its Christian take on DPC downstream cost savings: $31 — a year.

Christian Care Ministry (“Medi-Share”), whose 400,000 members account for more than a quarter of health cost sharing members nationally, recently acted to allow some of its members to receive credit for their entire direct primary care membership fees up to $1800 per year. That there is a certain synergy between DPC and health cost sharingContinue reading “Medi-Share gives its Christian take on DPC downstream cost savings: $31 — a year.”

Downstream consequences when employers fall for non-risk-adjusted data brags.

Do you remember when Union County’s three year DPC commitment for 2016-2018 was claimed to be saving Union County $1.25 Million per year? So why did Union County’s health benefits expenditure rise twice as fast as can be explained by the combined effect of medical price inflation* and workforce growth? For the first year orContinue reading “Downstream consequences when employers fall for non-risk-adjusted data brags.”

Medicare, dual coverage, and opt-out. The cherry on top of the cherry-picking machine for employer-based direct primary care.

In 2016, the share of people between 65 and 74 who were still working was over 25%. Any of them working at employers with more than twenty employees covered by group health plans are required by law to be included in the employer’s plan. They may also enroll in Medicare Part B. Some employer plansContinue reading “Medicare, dual coverage, and opt-out. The cherry on top of the cherry-picking machine for employer-based direct primary care.”

Two new DPC brags failed to show bona fide risk-adjusted savings; together, they make clear that DPC brags rely on cherry-picking.

Two recent DPC brags fit together in a telling way. Nextera Healthcare reported non-risk-adjusted claims data indicating that employees of a Colorado school district who selected Nextera’s DPC option had total costs that were 30% lower than those who selected a traditional insurance option. But that employer’s benefit package confers huge cash advantages (up toContinue reading “Two new DPC brags failed to show bona fide risk-adjusted savings; together, they make clear that DPC brags rely on cherry-picking.”

Nothing huge, but a possible small win for DirectAccessMD cost reduction claims.

The DirectAccessMD clinic that serves the employees of Anderson County, SC, is run by a tireless advocate for, and deep believer in DPC, Dr J Shane Purcell. Here the employer, with Dr Purcell’s apparent support, has taken steps that seems to have somewhat mitigated the selection bias that is baked into most other direct primaryContinue reading “Nothing huge, but a possible small win for DirectAccessMD cost reduction claims.”

CHANGED GRADE: The mixed bag of Milliman earns a final grade: B+

Skillful actuarial work on risk adjustment. A clear warning against relying on studies that ignored risk adjustment. Implicit repudiation of a decade of unfounded brags. An admirable idea on “isolating the impact of DPC model” from the bad decisions of a studied employer. Milliman should have recognized that the health service resources that go intoContinue reading “CHANGED GRADE: The mixed bag of Milliman earns a final grade: B+”

RESCINDED: ATTN: Milliman. An employer’s cost sharing plan affects claims experience.

In its recent assessment of the impact of the direct primary care model, Milliman took a two track approach. An employer ROI based approach included comparing claims experience for a group of employees who opted to receive primary care from a DPC clinic versus those using traditional FFS PCPs; in addition, the ROI analysis alsoContinue reading “RESCINDED: ATTN: Milliman. An employer’s cost sharing plan affects claims experience.”