Blog Entries: Medicare

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Accountable Care Organization Final Regulations Give Health Care Providers More Flexibility

October 21, 2011 - The highly anticipated final regulations for accountable care organizations (ACOs) were recently released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. In this post, the Fund's Mark Zezza and Stuart Guterman outline the key changes to the regulations.

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Achieving Medicare and Medicaid Savings: Cutting Eligibility and Benefits, Trimming Payments, or Ensuring the Right Care?

July 13, 2011 - Given persistent budgetary pressures, it's not surprising that the Administration and Congress are weighing options for achieving savings in the Medicare and Medicaid programs, say the Fund's Karen Davis and Stu Guterman. It's important, however, to bear three points in mind.

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The Aftermath of the Super Committee: What Will It Take to Reduce Federal Health Spending?

December 12, 2011 - At the December 2 Alliance for Health Reform briefing, "Inside Deficit Reduction: What Now?," a panel of experts with diverse perspectives discussed the potential impact on health policy of the failure of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to reach agreement on a plan to reduce the federal deficit.

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Bending the Health Care Cost Curve: New Era in American Health Care?

January 18, 2012 - Health care spending in 2009 and 2010 grew at the slowest rates in 50 years. This startling news was largely attributed to the shrinking economy. In a new blog post, Commonwealth Fund president Karen Davis suggests that lower longer-term projections point to a shift in the health system.

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The Bundled Payment for Care Improvement Initiative: Achieving High-Value Care with a Single Payment

January 07, 2012 - The Commonwealth Fund's Mark Zezza, Stuart Guterman, and Jennie Smith review the Bundled Payment for Care Improvement Initiative,a three-year project beginning in 2012, that will allow physicians, hospitals, and post–acute care providers to receive bundled payments as a way of supporting the delivery of efficient and high-value care.

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A Call for Standardized Rehospitalization Measures and Information Systems

September 27, 2010 - Are rates of rehospitalizations improving or worsening in the United States, in your state, in your community, or in your hospital? These questions are likely to lead not to answers but to a number of other questions. In this post, Anne-Marie Audet calls for national rehospitalization measures and an information system that will enable providers to respond to the data quickly.

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Celebrating Two Years of Progress

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

February 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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A Closer Look at the Pioneers

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

February 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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Emerging Consensus on Medicare Physician Payment Reform: A Golden Opportunity

November 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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Expanding the Options for Accountable Care Organizations: The Pioneer Model, Part I

October 12, 2011 - In a two-part blog post, Commonwealth Fund authors Mark Zezza and Stuart Guterman highlight aspects of the Pioneer Model and how it differs from the Shared Savings Program. In this post, they look at shared-savings payments.

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Expanding the Options for Accountable Care Organizations: The Pioneer Model, Part II

October 14, 2011 - In this two-part blog post, Mark Zezza and Stuart Guterman highlight aspects of the Pioneer Model accountable care organization program. In this post, they look at patient assignment, provider participation, the contract period, the governing board, and multipayer alignment.

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The Future of Medicare

October 02, 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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Health Reform: The Coverage, Cost, and Quality Reforms Ahead

March 23, 2011 - Karen Davis explains that in year two of the Affordable Care Act, groundwork for further coverage expansions, as well as important quality improvement and cost-control measures, will be laid.

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