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Assessing State Strategies for Health Coverage Expansion: Case Studies of Oregon, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Georgia

November 1, 2002 - The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) and the Center for State Health Policy (CSHP) at Rutgers University examined the experiences of four states that have made significant progress in health coverage expansion.

Fund Report

Modernizing Medicare Cost-Sharing: Policy Options and Impacts on Beneficiary and Program Expenditures

November 1, 2002 - Taking its cue from the weak economy and diminished federal budget, this report outlines modest policy options for improving the cost-sharing structure of Medicare to reduce financial burdens on the sickest beneficiaries.

Fund Report

Toward Comprehensive Health Coverage for All: Summaries of 20 State Planning Grants from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration

November 1, 2002 - In 2000, the DHHS' Health Resources and Services Administration awarded grants to 20 states to create comprehensive coverage plans for all citizens. These summaries report on the progress of states' coverage expansion efforts, detailing the history of reform, data on uninsured populations, actions taken, and goals for future efforts.

Fund Report

Consumer-Driven Health Plans: Are They More Than Talk Now?

November 1, 2002 - Although enrollment is still modest, "consumer-driven" health coverage has become a pillar of insurers' business strategy, new research finds.

In the Literature

Average Out-of-Pocket Health Care Costs for Medicare+Choice Enrollees Increase Substantially in 2002

November 1, 2002 - Medicare+Choice plans cut back on benefits such as prescription drug coverage in 2002 while enrollees faced a 40 percent rise in monthly premiums and substantial cost-sharing increases for their health care.

Issue Brief

Escape Fire: Lessons for the Future of Health Care

November 1, 2002 - In this 2002 book, Don Berwick, M.D., the new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator, outlines the problems with the health care system--medical errors, confusing and inconsistent information, and a lack of personal attention and continuity in care--and then sketches an ambitious program for reform.


Multinational Comparisons of Health Systems Data, 2002

October 1, 2002 - This chartbook uses data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to compare the performance of health care systems in eight countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.


Reasons and Strategies for Strengthening Childhood Development Services in the Healthcare System

October 1, 2002 - Low-income children are far more likely than their counterparts to be at-risk for poor developmental outcomes. Fortunately, early investments in young children and their families can make a significant and long-term impact on child well-being and academic success and can reduce the need for more costly interventions.

Fund Report

Cultural Competence in Health Care: Emerging Frameworks and Practical Approaches

October 1, 2002 - This field report spotlights a diverse group of health care organizations striving to improve access to and quality of care for a growing minority and immigrant population through innovative programs that develop minority leadership, promote community involvement, and increase awareness of the social and cultural factors that affect health beliefs and behaviors.

Fund Report

The Role of the Asset Test in Targeting Benefits for Medicare Savings Programs

October 1, 2002 - This report outlines steps that states are taking to modify the Medicare Savings Programs asset tests to ensure that the neediest beneficiaries receive financial assistance.

Fund Report

Medicare vs. Private Insurance: Rhetoric and Reality

October 1, 2002 - Findings from The Commonwealth Fund 2001 Health Insurance Survey show that Medicare outperforms private sector plans in terms of patients' satisfaction with quality of care, access to care, and overall insurance ratings.

In the Literature

Medicare+Choice After Five Years: Lessons for Medicare's Future

September 30, 2002 - This field report argues that, five years later, Medicare+Choice has not become what program proponents had envisioned. While it was originally forecast that program enrollment would rise to 34 percent of total Medicare enrollment by 2005, the enrollment has now fallen from its 1997 level of 14 percent to just 13 percent.

Fund Report

Primary Care Services: Promoting Optimal Child Development from Birth to Three Years

September 1, 2002 - This report defines and examines the evidence for the effectiveness of health services specifically targeted at promoting optimal development in children from birth to three years of age. The services reviewed are provided in general pediatric settings as part of routine well-child care and health supervision.

Fund Report

Medicare's Disabled Beneficiaries: The Forgotten Population in the Debate Over Drug Benefits

September 1, 2002 - The nation's 5 million disabled Medicare beneficiaries under age 65 face a daunting combination of low income, poor health status, heavy prescription drug use, and high medication bills.

Fund Report

Partnering with Parents to Promote the Healthy Development of Young Children Enrolled in Medicaid

September 1, 2002 - This report presents results from a survey assessing the quality of preventive and developmental services for young children enrolled in Medicaid in three states—Carolina, Vermont, and Washington.

Fund Report