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Commonwealth Fund E-Forum
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Released June 13 by the Fund's Commission on a High Performance Health System at a packed Washington briefing attended by journalists, health care leaders, government officials, and others, the report, Aiming Higher: Results from a State Scorecard on Health System Performance, ranks states on 32 indicators of access, quality, avoidable hospital use and costs, equity, and "healthy lives." While no state scored highly on each performance indicator, the health care system in certain states and regions is functioning markedly better than elsewhere. Read more »
According to the Commonwealth Fund report, Closing the Divide: How Medical Homes Promote Equity in Health Care (June 27), when adults have both health insurance coverage and a medical home, racial and ethnic disparities in access to care and quality of care tend to disappear. In fact, the analysis, which was based on a Fund survey of more than 2,830 adults nationwide, found that regardless of race, the vast majority of adults with a medical home always get the care they need in a timely fashion. Read more »
A major culprit in the inconsistent performance of the U.S. health care system is its failure to provide health insurance to nearly 45 million people, as well as adequate financial protection to an additional 16 million more who are "underinsured," said Commonwealth Fund assistant vice president Sara Collins, Ph.D., in invited testimony before the Senate Budget Committee on June 26. Read more »
As the debate over reauthorization of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) heats up in Washington, a diverse group of leaders in health policy and health care praise the program for increasing low-income children's access to affordable health care, saying the program should be extended to additional individuals. The latest Health Care Opinion Leaders Survey from The Commonwealth Fund and Modern Healthcare magazine finds strong support across the board for expanding SCHIP's reach. Read more »
Despite spending more on health care than any other nation, the United States receives poor value relative to other industrialized countries, a recent Commonwealth Fund report finds. In a six-nation comparison of performance on measures of quality, access, efficiency, equity, and health outcomes, the U.S. health system ranks last, behind Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Read more »
View this E-Forum of a panel discussion at the NICHQ Sixth Annual Forum's pre-conference workshop, "Transforming Well-Child Care for the 21st Century," featuring David Bergman and Steve Schoenbaum. Read more »
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"Insurance coverage helps people gain access to health care, but the next thing you have to ask is, access to what? If you can provide both insurance and access to a true medical home, racial and ethnic differences in getting needed medical care are often eliminated."
—Anne C. Beal, M.D., Commonwealth Fund Assistant Vice President
With Commonwealth Fund support, Massachusetts Health Quality Partners (MHQP)—a coalition of physicians, hospitals, health plans, purchasers, consumers, and government agencies—is working to develop measures, collect data, and publish reports. We talked to MHQP executive director Barbra Rabson, M.P.H., about the challenges involved in evaluating and reporting on the care experience.