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Implementing the Affordable Care Act: Key Design Decisions for State-Based Exchanges

July 11, 2013 - Consumers and small businesses in states that have chosen to run their own health insurance marketplaces―a central component of the health reform law―will likely have a greater choice of health plans, as well as more information about the quality of those plans, than residents of states with federally run marketplaces, a new Commonwealth Fund report finds.

Fund Report

When Seeing the Same Physician, Highly Activated Patients Have Better Care Experiences Than Less Activated Patients

July 9, 2013 - Patients who have the knowledge, skills, and confidence to manage their health and health care report better health care experiences than patients with lower levels of “activation” who see the same clinicians.

In the Literature

Reevaluating "Made in America"—Two Cost-Containment Ideas from Abroad

June 14, 2013 - In this Commonwealth Fund–supported Perspective, researchers examined two strategies for containing health care costs: Germany's bundled payments and Japan's volume-driven pricing.

In Brief

Primary Care: Our First Line of Defense

June 12, 2013 - Touching on some of the critical concepts in health care reform, this brief explains why primary care is so important to patients and also to the country's bottom line.

Health Reform and You

Health Reform & You: A New Publication Series

June 7, 2013 - In a new series of publications, The Commonwealth Fund explores these and other changes in U.S. health care. Geared toward the non-expert, the briefs provide readers with easy-to-digest information on what the reforms mean and how they will affect patients, providers, and purchasers.

Issue Brief

Improving Access to Specialty Care for Medicaid Patients: Policy Issues and Options

June 6, 2013 - This report examines six Medicaid programs that support innovative ways of delivering specialty care and help ensure specialty referrals for Medicaid patients are appropriate and efficient.

Fund Report

Limits of Readmission Rates in Measuring Hospital Quality Suggest the Need for Added Metrics

June 6, 2013 - Commonwealth Fund–supported researchers examined the change in readmission rates over a two-year period and the relationship between these rates and other commonly used measures of hospital quality.

In Brief

Meeting Meaningful Use Criteria and Managing Patient Populations: A National Survey of Practicing Physicians

June 4, 2013 - In a Commonwealth Fund–supported study, researchers surveyed physicians to learn how many are using electronic health records and the trends and challenges in meeting meaningful-use requirements.

In the Literature

Illustrating Potential Efficiency Gains from Using Cost-Effectiveness Evidence to Reallocate Medicare Expenses

May 28, 2013 - Commonwealth Fund–supported researchers illustrate the potential gains in health and efficiency if decision-makers at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services were to take into account cost-effectiveness when making Medicare coverage decisions.

In Brief

Patient Experience Over Time in Patient-Centered Medical Homes

May 28, 2013 - Commonwealth Fund–supported researchers sought to measure patients' experiences over time in practices that have adopted the patient-centered medical home model.

In Brief

Overuse and Systems of Care: A Systematic Review

May 24, 2013 - Overuse of health care services accounted for up to $226 billion in unnecessary spending in 2011, but no particular system of care has been more effective than another in minimizing overuse of health care services.

In Brief

Care Management for Medicaid Enrollees Through Community Health Teams

May 21, 2013 - To provide more effective and efficient care for beneficiaries with complex health needs, Medicaid programs in some states have turned to local community health teams to augment the capacity of physician practices. A new report examines multidisciplinary community health team programs in eight states.

Fund Report

Putting Aside Preconceptions—Time for Dialogue Among Primary Care Clinicians

May 16, 2013 - An editorial by The Commonwealth Fund's David Blumenthal and Melinda Abrams explores one approach to addressing the primary care workforce shortage: using nurse practitioners to provide a wide range of primary care services.

In Brief

Making Sense of the Change in How Medicare Advantage Plans Are Paid

May 7, 2013 - Under the Affordable Care Act, overpayments to Medicare Advantage plans are gradually being pared back. But will private plans be able to cope with the reduced payments? Using newly available government data, this brief examines average costs among Medicare Advantage plans and variation in costs among plan types.

Issue Brief

Medicare Essential: An Option to Promote Better Care and Curb Spending Growth

May 6, 2013 - Combining Medicare's hospital, physician, and prescription drug coverage with commonly purchased private supplemental coverage into one health plan could produce national savings of $180 billion over a decade while improving care for beneficiaries, a new Health Affairs study finds.

In the Literature