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Implementing the Affordable Care Act: State Action on the 2014 Market Reforms

February 1, 2013 - Because states are the primary regulators of health insurance, this issue brief examines new state action on a subset of protections—such as guaranteed access to coverage and a ban on preexisting condition exclusions—that go into effect in 2014.

Issue Brief

Centura Health at Home: Home Telehealth as the Standard of Care

January 30, 2013 - This case study looks at the results from the year-long program that demonstrated successful outcomes in terms of reducing 30-day rehospitalizations, increasing patients' quality of life, improving patients' self-management skills and education, and reducing the frequency of home visits from registered nurses.

Case Study

Scaling Telehealth Programs: Lessons from Early Adopters

January 30, 2013 - This synthesis brief offers findings from case studies of three early remote patient monitoring adopters: the Veterans Health Administration, Partners HealthCare, and Centura Health at Home.

Case Study

Partners HealthCare: Connecting Heart Failure Patients to Providers Through Remote Monitoring

January 30, 2013 - Partners HealthCare's programs in home telehealth have been driven by its Center for Connected Health, which has pilot-tested and implemented telemedicine and remote monitoring solutions.

Case Study

The Veterans Health Administration: Taking Home Telehealth Services to Scale Nationally

January 30, 2013 - This case study highlights factors critical to the VHA's success—like the organization's leadership, culture, and existing information technology infrastructure—as well as opportunities and challenges.

Case Study

Recasting Readmissions by Placing the Hospital Role in Community Context

January 23, 2013 - Efforts to improve care transitions and stem the tide of unnecessary readmissions should be a collaborative effort in which hospitals, home health agencies, and social service providers—as well as patients and family caregivers—all take part say experts from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and The Commonwealth Fund in a Journal of the American Medical Association "Viewpoint."

In the Literature

The Visiting Nurse Service of New York's Choice Health Plans: Continuous Care Management for Dually Eligible Medicare and Medicaid Beneficiaries

January 23, 2013 - This case study describes how a large nonprofit home health care provider created health plans to serve this population and, in particular, how its customized care management approach has led to reductions in hospitalizations and readmissions.

Case Study

The Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center’s Asthma Improvement Collaborative: Enhancing Quality and Coordination of Care

January 23, 2013 - Building on earlier initiatives, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center launched an Asthma Improvement Collaborative in 2008 to enhance the quality and coordination of asthma care for low-income, Medicaid-insured children in Hamilton County, Ohio.

Case Study

Gaining Ground: Care Management Programs to Reduce Hospital Admissions and Readmissions Among Chronically Ill and Vulnerable Patients

January 23, 2013 - Preventable hospital admissions and readmissions are indicators of health system fragmentation associated with suboptimal patient outcomes and avoidable costs of care. This synthesis report looks at three case studies that illustrate the potential of care management programs to address this problem by improving care coordination and transitions among high-risk patients.

Case Study

Confronting Costs: Stabilizing U.S. Health Spending While Moving Toward a High Performance Health Care System

January 10, 2013 - The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System recommends a set of synergistic provider payment reforms, consumer incentives, and systemwide reforms to confront costs while improving health system performance. This approach could slow spending by a cumulative $2 trillion by 2023.

Fund Report

Regions with Higher Medicare Part D Spending Show Better Drug Adherence, But Not Lower Medicare Costs for Two Diseases

January 8, 2013 - In this Commonwealth Fund–supported study, researchers set out to determine whether there was any relationship between geographic variation in Medicare Part D spending and medication-taking behavior among beneficiaries with diabetes or heart failure.

In Brief

Care Coordination Agreements: Barriers, Facilitators, and Lessons Learned

January 7, 2013 - In this study, Commonwealth Fund–supported researchers learned that care coordination agreements increased efficiency and improved the quality of care, especially for patients with chronic conditions.

In Brief

Barriers to Evaluation for Early Intervention Services: Parent and Early Intervention Employee Perspectives

January 7, 2013 - Commonwealth Fund–funded researchers designed this study to find out why so many children referred to early intervention services are not evaluated and to determine how to make the referral process more successful.

In Brief

Engaging Consumers in Medicaid Nursing Home Reimbursement Policy: Lessons from New York and Minnesota

January 7, 2013 - How nursing homes are reimbursed by state Medicaid programs—the main purchasers of nursing home services in the United States—has significant consequences for the quality of care residents receive. This article draws lessons from New York and Minnesota—two states where resident advocates have influenced reimbursement policy to encourage access, care quality, and quality of life.

In Brief

Over 150 Potentially Low-Value Health Care Practices: An Australian Study

January 7, 2013 - In this study, Commonwealth Fund Visiting Fellow Adam Elshaug and colleagues set out to establish a systematic, evidence-based, transparent strategy for identifying potential "low-value" clinical services that require closer review.

In Brief