News Releases: Medicare

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First-Ever Scorecard Evaluates How Well States' Health Care Systems Are Working for Low-Income Americans, Finds Wide Disparities in Access to Care and Health Care Quality

September 18, 2013 - Access to affordable health care and quality of care vary greatly for low-income people based on where they live, according to a new Commonwealth Fund scorecard.

Proposed "Medicare Essential" Plan Estimated to Save $180 Billion Over 10 Years While Simplifying Benefits and Lowering Premiums and Out-of-Pocket Costs 17% to 40%

May 6, 2013 - Combining Medicare's hospital, physician, and prescription drug coverage with commonly purchased private supplemental coverage into one health plan could produce national savings of $180 billion over a decade while improving care for beneficiaries, according to a new study by researchers at The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and The Commonwealth Fund published today in the May edition of Health Affairs.

U.S. Performs Worst on Potentially Preventable Death Rates Compared to France, Germany, and the U.K.; U.S. Also Improving at Slowest Pace

August 29, 2012 - The United States lags three other industrialized nations—France, Germany, and the United Kingdom—in its potentially preventable death rate, and in the pace of improvement in preventing deaths that could have been avoided with timely and effective health care, according to a Commonwealth Fund–supported study published as a web first online today in Health Affairs.

First National Survey of Hospital Readiness to Participate in Accountable Care Organizations Shows Promise For Strengthening Primary Care and Improving Care Coordination

August 17, 2012 - A nationwide survey of nearly 1,700 hospitals examining their readiness to form accountable care organizations (ACOs) found that 13 percent are participating in, or planning to participate in, ACOs in the next year, according to a new report from The Commonwealth Fund.

New Study: Elderly Medicare Beneficiaries Most Satisifed with Their Health Insurance; Working-Age Adult with Private Coverage Report More Trouble Accessing Care, Paying Medical Bills

July 18, 2012 - Elderly beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare plans are more satisfied with their health insurance, have better access to care, and are less likely to have problems paying medical bills than people who get insurance through employers or those who purchase coverage on their own, according to a new Commonwealth Fund study published today in Health Affairs.

First-Ever Scorecard of State Performance on Long-Term Services and Supports Finds Wide Variation in Care and Support for Older Adults and People with Disabilities

September 8, 2011 - A new report released jointly today by AARP’s Public Policy Institute, The Commonwealth Fund, and The SCAN Foundation shows some states significantly out-perform others in the delivery of long-term services and supports (LTSS) to older adults and people with disabilities.

New Report: Accountable Care Organizations Have Potential to Curb Costs and Improve Health Care

April 14, 2011 - If implemented successfully, accountable care organizations (ACOs) have the ability to achieve better care, better population health, and lower costs, according to a new report released today by the Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System.

New Reports: Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation Must Develop and Implement Payment Reforms Rapidly to Achieve Goals of Effective, Coordinated, Efficient Care

June 8, 2010 - The new Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMI) must be inclusive and flexible in developing and implementing payment initiatives, continuously monitor their impact, and rapidly disseminate them if they appear to be successful, in order to realize the potential for improved health care delivery and reduced spending, according to a new Health Affairs article by Commonwealth Fund researchers.

Experts Favor Broad Medicare Reforms to Control Costs and Foster Health Care Innovations, Survey Says

November 2, 2009 - A vast majority of leaders in health care and health policy believe Medicare has been successful in providing access to care and stable coverage to the elderly and disabled individuals; however only a small percentage think the program has realized its potential to achieve other important goals, like using its leverage as the country's largest purchaser of services to control costs and promote a high performance health system.

Costs of Expanding Healthcare Coverage Partly Offset by Future Medicare Savings

October 5, 2009 - The costs of universal coverage are partly offset by later savings in Medicare. New Commonwealth Fund-supported research found that individuals who lacked health insurance at some point between the ages of 51 and 64 cost Medicare more than those who had continuous coverage in the years prior to Medicare eligibility.

Elderly Medicare Beneficiaries Give Their Coverage Higher Ratings Than Do Those With Employer Sponsored Insurance

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.

Extra Payments to Medicare Advantage Plans to Total $11.4 Billion in 2009, or More Than $1,100 Per Enrollee

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.

New Study: 20 Percent of Hospitalized Medicare Patients Readmitted To Hospital Within 30 Days; Half Rehospitalized Without Seeing a Doctor After Discharge

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.

Survey Finds Widespread Dissatisfaction with Current Health Care Payment System; Fee-for-Service Not Effective, Experts Say

November 3, 2008 - Leaders in health care and health care policy expressed robust support for fundamentally reforming the way health care providers are paid and resounding dissatisfaction with the current payment system, known as "fee-for-service."

Extra Payments to Private Fee-For-Service Medicare Advantage Plans to Total $2.5 Billion in 2008

October 21, 2008 - Private fee-for-service (PFFS) Medicare Advantage plans will be paid an average 16.6 percent more in 2008 compared to what the same enrollees would have cost in the traditional Medicare fee-for-service program, according to a new report from The Commonwealth Fund.