Blog Entries: Medicare

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Emerging Consensus on Medicare Physician Payment Reform: A Golden Opportunity

11/25/2013 - Last month, the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee released a discussion draft of a bill to reform the way health care providers are paid by Medicare. The Commonwealth Fund's Stuart Guterman says that this document is just the latest indicator that agreement is within reach on this crucial issue.

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Wielding the Carrot and the Stick: How to Move the U.S. Health Care System Away from Fee-for-Service Payment

8/27/2013 - Commonwealth Fund vice president Stu Guterman lays out the policies needed to move the system toward alterative payment approaches. In addition to incentives and penalties, he calls for "muscle" that can be wielded by public and private payers working together to effect change.

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Stop the Churn: Preventing Gaps in Health Insurance Coverage

7/10/2013 - Churning, the term for repeatedly gaining and losing health insurance coverage, is a serious cause of gaps in health care coverage for low-income people.

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Medicare Essential: A Policy Proposal to Enhance Benefits, Improve Care, and Lower Health System Costs

5/6/2013 - Learn about a new comprehensive, cost-saving proposal called "Medicare Essential" that would protect beneficiaries and emphasize high-value care.

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The Effect of Medicare Readmissions Penalties on Hospitals' Efforts to Reduce Readmissions: Perspectives from the Field

2/26/2013 - Medicare recently began financially penalizing hospitals that have higher-than-expected rates of 30-day readmissions for select conditions. To understand the impact, researchers talked with teams participating in the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's initiative.

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Changing the Way Medicare Pays Physicians—Strike While the Iron Is Hot

2/25/2013 - Stuart Guterman, executive director of its Commission on a High Performance Health System, explains why now is the perfect time to reform Medicare physicians payment.

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How States Can Simplify Transitions to Medicare Under the Affordable Care Act

1/14/2013 - People who become eligible for Medicare in states without a comprehensive transition plan could face gaps in coverage and avoidable out-of-pocket costs. This post looks at how states can help ensure people make smooth transitions to Medicare.

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Moving Forward with Health Care Reform

11/7/2012 - The Affordable Care Act has been put to legal and political tests and is now indisputably the law of the land. It's time to come together to ensure the law is speedily implemented, and take the steps necessary to guarantee equitable access to high-quality care, while controlling costs.

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Two Distinct Paths: Health Care in the 2012 Presidential Election

10/22/2012 - A recent Commonwealth Fund report found that Governor Romney's health care proposals would leave 72 million people uninsured in 2022 while the Affordable Care Act will lower the number of uninsured to 27 million within a decade. The discussion about the potential impacts of these differing visions for the health care system continued at a recent briefing.

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The Future of Medicare

10/2/2012 - In invited testimony today before the House of Representatives Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, Commonwealth Fund president Karen Davis discussed two approaches to sustaining Medicare, the vital public insurance program for seniors and disabled Americans.

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Medicare Works: Public Program Continues to Outperform Private Insurance in Ensuring Access to Care and Providing Financial Protection

7/24/2012 - In a new blog post, Karen Davis and Kristof Stremikis suggest that "it may be desirable to open up Medicare to people buying insurance through the state exchanges, especially to older adults."

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Raising Medicaid Primary Care Rates: Next Steps for States

5/24/2012 - The Department of Health and Human Services recently released long-awaited proposed regulations for implementing the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid primary care rate increase. This post provides takeaways from the proposed rule and suggestions for implementation.

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State Scorecard on Long-Term Services and Supports: What Distinguishes High- from Low-Ranking States?

5/9/2012 - Last September, the AARP Public Policy Institute, The Commonwealth Fund, and The SCAN Foundation released the first-ever State Scorecard on Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS). A new set of case studies provides insights into why certain states ranked high, low, or somewhere in between.

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A Closer Look at the Pioneers

4/12/2012 - The Commonwealth Fund offers a number of resources to learn about how several of the Pioneer ACOs went about implementing patient-centered coordinated care for their patient population.

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Celebrating Two Years of Progress

3/23/2012 - In a new blog post, Commonwealth Fund president Karen Davis offers a few reminders of why the United States so urgently needs the Affordable Care Act.

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