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Tuesday, June 04, 2013
By Anne-Marie J. Audet and David Blumenthal
In this week’s Annals of Internal Medicine, Catherine M. DesRoches of Mathematica Policy Research—and colleagues from The Commonwealth Fund, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Mongan Institute for Health Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital— describe new findings from a 2012 national survey of physicians about their use of electronic health records (EHRs). The survey was conducted in the early phases of implementation of the HITECH program, which was a part of the 2009 stimulus package designed to promote the use of health information technology. The physicians were surveyed just one year into an evolving, multiyear initiative. Findings thus reflect work in progress. They may provide useful insights to guide implementation of the federal initiative. But the survey was conducted far too early in HITECH’s rollout to be used to judge the program’s ultimate success.
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health care quality
electronic health records
Thursday, May 23, 2013
By David Blumenthal and Sara R. Collins
The health reform law’s major health insurance expansions and market reforms will take effect in just eight months. These changes have the potential to significantly reduce the numbers of people who are uninsured and underinsured nationwide, as well as limit the associated financial difficulties.
A report released in April by The Commonwealth Fund underscores the need for these new coverage solutions. Based on the Fund’s 2012 Biennial Health Insurance Survey, the report finds that in 2012 an estimated 84 million adults ages 19 to 64 did not have health insurance for the full year or were underinsured and unprotected from high out-of-pocket medical costs. The analysis also found that millions of U.S. adults are struggling to pay medical bills and avoiding timely health care for financial reasons. There was a bright spot in the report: an estimated 3.4 million young adults ages 19–25 gained insurance coverage between 2010 and 2012, likely as a result of the Affordable Care Act’s provision that allows young adults to stay on their parents’ health plans until age 26.
This blog post examines both the Affordable Care Act’s potential to cover millions of people, as well as remaining coverage gaps.
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health reform legislation
state health insurance exchanges
Thursday, May 16, 2013
By David Bricklin-Small and Tricia McGinnis, Center for Health Care Strategies
Since January, Medicaid agencies and health plans have been required to reimburse primary care providers at Medicare’s generally higher rates. The Affordable Care Act’s two-year “Medicaid bump” is completely funded by the federal government. These dollars represent an $11.4 billion boost for Medicaid primary care. Yet, given that many more people will qualify for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act starting next year, and that a shortage of primary care providers who accept Medicaid is anticipated, ensuring adequate access to primary care for low-income residents is still a key concern for states and the federal government.