Evaluation of Parity in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program: Final Report. Overview

12/31/2004

This chapter addresses the intermediate and long-term impacts of the parity policy on access to care, service use, cost, and quality of care, as illustrated in the evaluation logic model in Figure II-I. The research questions, data sources and collection methods, and analysis methods relating to cost, access, utilization, and quality that we summarized in chapter II, Design of the Evaluation, are presented in detail in this chapter. Chapter IV is divided into three sections:

  • Impact on Access to Care, Service Use, and Cost
  • Impact on Quality
  • Impact on Provider Awareness and Perceptions of Parity Implementation

Each of these sections separately presents the relevant research questions, data collection methods, analytic strategies, and findings.

Archival claims and enrollment data from selected Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) plans were employed in the analyses of access, service use, cost, and quality, which include before-after-parity and difference-in-differences models, as well as case study analyses. We then compared changes within the selected FEHB plans over the pre- to post-parity period with secular trends by using data from a matched set of comparison plans over the same time period. Finally, we examined providers’ awareness of the parity policy based on a series of focus groups in three geographical regions.

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