May 14, 2009 - As policymakers consider ways to cut health costs as a part of health reform, a new national survey of physician practices finds that physicians on average are spending the equivalent of three work weeks annually on administrative tasks required by health plans. According to the study by Lawrence P. Casalino, M.D., Ph.D., of Weill Cornell Medical College and colleagues, physician practices report that overall the costs of interacting with insurance plans is $31 billion annually and 6.9 percent of all U.S. expenditures for physician and clinical services. The study, published in today’s online issue of Health Affairs, was co-funded by The Commonwealth Fund and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Changes in Health Care Financing and Organization (HCFO) Initiative.
May 12, 2009 - Elderly Medicare beneficiaries are more satisfied with their health care, and experience fewer problems accessing and paying for care, than Americans with employer-sponsored insurance (ESI), according to a study by Commonwealth Fund researchers published today on the Health Affairs Web site.
May 11, 2009 - Women are more likely than men to feel the pinch of rising health costs and eroding health benefits, with about half (52%) of working-age women reporting problems accessing needed care because of costs, compared to 39 percent of men, a new Commonwealth Fund study finds.
May 6, 2009 - The Commonwealth Fund, in collaboration with eight co-funders, is launching a national Safety Net Medical Home Initiative, which will provide $6 million dollars over four years to help 68 community health centers in five states transform into patient-centered medical homes. Health centers in Colorado, Idaho, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Pennsylvania will be given technical assistance, training, and ongoing support in order to improve how they deliver care to patients, including better coordinated care, enhancing access to care, improving doctor-patient interactions, and implementing quality improvements.
May 4, 2009 - Private Medicare Advantage (MA) plans will be paid $11.4 billion more in 2009 than what the same beneficiaries would have cost in the traditional Medicare fee-for-service program, according to a new report released today by The Commonwealth Fund. This new analysis, The Continuing Costs of Privatization: Extra Payments to Medicare Advantage Plans Jump to $11.4 Billion in 2009, estimates that since MA was enacted in 2004, $43 billion in extra payments have been made.
April 27, 2009 - Health care leaders believe the U.S. must rein in the growth of health spending, and most believe it is possible to keep the share of gross domestic product (GDP) now spent on health care steady over the next 10 years.
April 14, 2009 - About two-thirds of U.S. primary care physicians reported in 2004-05 that they couldn’t get outpatient mental health services for their patients—a rate that was at least twice as high as for other services, according to a national study funded by the Commonwealth Fund published today as a Web Exclusive in the journal Health Affairs.
April 2, 2009 - One of five Medicare beneficiaries discharged from the hospital is readmitted within 30 days, and half of non-surgical patients are readmitted to the hospital without having seen an outpatient doctor in follow-up, according to a Commonwealth Fund-supported study in today's New England Journal of Medicine.
March 24, 2009 - In March 2009, The Commonwealth Fund received an unanticipated bequest of $100,000 from the estate of Ms. Floriana Hogan of Boca Raton, Florida. Ms. Hogan was an educator and her husband was a physician. They resided in Massachusetts prior to their retirement and admired the Fund's work to advance a high performance U.S. health system. The funds will be added to the foundation's endowment.
February 19, 2009 - A comprehensive set of insurance, payment, and system reforms could guarantee affordable health insurance coverage, improve health outcomes, and slow the growth of health spending by $3 trillion by the end of the next decade, according to a new report released today by the Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System.
February 4, 2009 - When President Obama signed the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) bill into law today, he took a significant step toward the necessary reforms that will guarantee all Americans the health care they need and deserve. As the President stated, CHIP represents an important down payment on health care reform, and one that will provide enhanced health security for millions of families.
January 26, 2009 - A study published today in the Archives of Internal Medicine, finds that when physicians in hospitals use health information technology (health IT) to its full potential there are fewer deaths, fewer complications, and lower health care costs.
January 23, 2009 - As unemployment rates reach the highest levels in 16 years, a new analysis from The Commonwealth Fund finds that few laid-off workers—only 9 percent—took up coverage under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) in 2006.
January 19, 2009 - Leaders in health care and health care policy feel strongly that President-elect Barack Obama should pursue an ambitious health care reform agenda that expands coverage while also improving quality and efficiency, and controlling costs.
January 16, 2009 - A new Commonwealth Fund study says that policies in the Switzerland and Netherlands that achieve near-universal coverage and low administrative costs can help inform the U.S. health care reform debate.