Blog Entries: October 2011 and Earlier

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New Hospital Compare Measures Help Fill Out the Performance Picture

October 28, 2011 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has begun publishing data on new measures assessing the quality and safety of hospital care, providing a more complete picture of hospital care. Anne-Marie J. Audet, M.D, and Shreya Patel, say the release of the new measures will lead to a healthy process of public vetting and debate.

Blog Post

Lessons from Abroad: The Dutch Health Care System, Part 2

October 25, 2011 - In a new blog post on the Dutch health care system, Jonathan Cohn, senior editor at the New Republic, discusses quality and health outcomes in the Netherlands, as well as recent efforts to encourage insurers to compete on quality as well as costs.

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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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Measuring Care Coordination in Medical Homes

October 21, 2011 - In a guide released today by the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative, a chapter by Commonwealth Fund staff outlines key strategies to help health systems effectively measure care coordination as a routine part of medical home activities. This post outlines the seven strategies proposed in the chapter.

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Inside Deficit Reduction: What It Means for Health Care

October 17, 2011 - The Commonwealth Fund's Caryn Marks and Megan Keenan recount a recent briefing that examined the potential impact of various deficit reduction plans on Medicare. The briefing was the second in a series of Alliance for Health Reform briefings on deficit reduction, jointly sponsored by The Commonwealth Fund, The SCAN Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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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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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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Lessons from Abroad: The Dutch Health Care System, Part 1

October 06, 2011 - A new international series by Jonathan Cohn, senior editor at the New Republic, launches with this exploration of the Dutch health care system, which includes many features of a high-performance health system.

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Meeting the Demand for Improved Services and Supports for Older People and People with Disabilities

October 06, 2011 - Commonwealth Fund staff Caryn Marks, Megan Keenan, and Mary Jane Koren report on the Alliance for Health Reform/Fund briefing onthe opportunities and challenges in the U.S. long-term services and supports system.

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Understanding the Rise in Health Insurance Premiums

September 30, 2011 - An analysis conducted by Jon Gabel and colleagues attributes only 1.8 percentage points of the recently reported 8 percent to 9 percent rise in premiums to the Affordable Care Act's insurance reforms.

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Number of Uninsured in United States Grows to 49.9 Million; Young Adults Already Benefitting from the Affordable Care Act

September 13, 2011 - New U.S. Census data show that the number of people without health insurance climbed to 49.9 million in 2010, but a decrease in the number of uninsured young adults.

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The Scottish Approach to Patient Safety

September 13, 2011 - Scotland is the first country in the world to mandate a structured safety improvement program for its whole health care system. The Scottish Patient Safety Program, in which all acute care hospitals take part, aims to reduce mortality by 15 percent and patient harm by 30 percent by the end of 2012.

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Proposed Rule on Premium Tax Credits: Who's Eligible and How Much Will They Help?

August 31, 2011 - In this post, Sara Collins discusses how the new premium tax credits created by the health reform law will improve the affordability and accessibility of insurance.

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Policies to Protect the Unemployed from Becoming Uninsured

August 24, 2011 - In this post, The Commonwealth Fund's Michelle Doty and Sara Collins call for reestablishing COBRA premium subsidies that previously helped millions of people who lost their jobs maintain their health insurance coverage.

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Reality Check: Defining Expectations for the State Health Insurance Exchanges

August 15, 2011 - People have too many expectations for the state insurance exchanges, says Rhode Island Health Insurance Commissioner Christopher Koller. In a new post, he calls on the designers of the exchanges to clarify and prioritize these goals.

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