Mechanical Ventilation and Survival in Patients With Advanced Dementia in Medicare Advantage

Donald R. Sullivan, Pedro Gozalo, Jennifer Bunker, Joan M. Teno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Context: Medicare Advantage (MA) cares for an increasing proportion of traditional Medicare (TM) patients although, the association of MA on low-value care among hospitalized patients is uncertain. Objectives: We sought to determine whether invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) use or mortality differs among hospitalized patients with advanced dementia (AD) enrolled in MA vs. TM and the influence of hospital MA concentration. Methods: Retrospective cohort of hospitalized Medicare patients from 2016 to 2017 who were ≥66 years old with AD (n=147,153) and had a hospitalization with an assessment completed during a nursing home stay ≤120 days prior to that hospitalization indicating AD and severe cognitive/functional impairment. MA enrollment was ascertained at hospitalization; IMV use and 30- and 365-day mortality were determined via Medicare data. Multivariable logistic regression models clustered by hospital were used. Results: Among hospitalized Medicare patients with AD, 27,253 (19%) were enrolled in MA, mean age was 84 (95% CI: 83.9–84.0) and 92,736 (63%) were female. Enrollment in MA was associated with increased IMV use (Adjusted Odds Ratio(AOR)=1.11, 95% CI: 1.04–1.18), 30- (Adjusted Hazard Ratio(AHR)=1.09, 95% CI: 1.05–1.12) and 365-day mortality (AHR=1.12, 95% CI: 1.08–1.16) compared to TM. Use of IMV was not different based on concentration of MA at the hospital level. Conclusion: MA may reduce hospitalizations, however, once hospitalized, patients with AD enrolled in MA experience higher rates of IMV use and worse 30- and 365-day mortality compared to TM patients. Higher hospital concentration of MA did not reduce use of IMV. MA may not offer significant benefits in reducing low-value care among patients hospitalized with serious illness, questioning the benefits of this care model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1006-1013
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • Dementia
  • Medicare
  • Medicare advantage
  • care quality
  • mechanical ventilation
  • serious illness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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