Options for Defining Medicare Advantage Regions: An Assessment of Trade-offs


The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was charged with setting regional market areas for the implementation of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA). This project sought to identify and analyze tradeoffs inherent in alternative strategies for setting region boundaries and to inform the policy process by articulating what some of the key implications relative to the very clear goals of the MMA.


The authors are grateful to the many individuals who made this report possible. We want to thank the executives at health plans and hospital systems who gave their time to discuss with us how their organizations approach the geographic aspects of product offering, pricing, and network development.

At the Center for Studying Health System Change, the authors acknowledge the administrative support of Teri Armstrong and Bridget O'Leary. Daryl Hall, at our sister organization, Mathematica Policy Research, provided editorial support.

We benefited from the guidance and feedback of the staff of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, especially our project officer, Don Oellerich, and Michael O'Grady and Don Cox.


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