Trends in Tennessee Medicaid acute care: Use and expenditures, 1974-1978

J. L. Cromwell, D. K. Baugh, R. A. Schurman, A. Dobson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Because person-level data are not currently available at the Federal level, many questions regarding the use and expenditures of Medicaid services remain unanswered. This article demonstrates the capability of State Medicaid Management Information Systems (MMIS) to provide data that can address a variety of Medicaid program issues at both the State and Federal levels. Using data from the Tennessee Medicaid files, we analyze MMIS data to demonstrate the utility of person-level statistics and to indicate methodologies useful for future analytic efforts, particularly in constructing utilization rates for policy and program management activities. While total Tennessee Medicaid enrollment is declining, the number of disabled enrollees and the proportion of aged enrollees are increasing. Tennessee Medicaid average covered lengths of stay exhibit a downward trend, but covered days of care rates are increasing due to higher admission rates. Medicaid payments per enrollee increased drastically, primarily due to increases in average payments per day and, to a lesser extent, increased utilization. Medicaid utilization and expenditures are highly skewed toward aged and disabled enrollees and toward those with less than six consecutive quarters of enrollment. Similarly, whites exhibit a disproportionate use of inpatient services. Analyses of diagnostic case-mix indicate stable patterns for both AFDC and disabled enrollees over time. Differences in case-mix and length of stay between the two eligibility groups are consistent with the respective characteristics of these populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-43
Number of pages29
JournalHealth Care Financing Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1981


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