Assessing the Community Impact of the MMA

Research center:
Lead researcher:
Project completed:
January 2012
This project will measure the community-level impacts of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA) and will provide feedback to policymakers regarding the impact of the MMA on its policy targets (providers and beneficiaries), in the context of rural places. This project will also establish a methodology for studying community impacts of health policies that will be the basis of a broader effort within the Rural Policy Research Institute to study the impacts of national policies on rural places.

This analytical plan has two levels: (1) the proximate effects of policy change on the targeted persons and organizations, and (2) the effects on the broader community. Four rural communities will be selected for detailed study from four different regions of the country. The immediate impacts of the MMA will be assessed with quantitative and qualitative data derived from activities of local providers, including pharmacies, hospitals, ambulance providers, home health agencies, skilled nursing homes, federally qualified health centers, rural health clinics, and physician clinics. A unique contribution of this study will be measuring the aggregate effect of the multiple changes to payment and regulatory policy on the health sector of rural communities. The immediate effect of the prescription drug discount card will be assessed by measuring its local use with qualitative assessments supplied by agencies serving the elderly of the community. The broader community impacts of the MMA will be assessed using a modification of the Social Accounting Matrix approach. Products of this research will include a study methodology suitable for replication by others, a policy brief, and a policy paper.