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Attributing Patients to Accountable Care Organizations: Performance Year Approach Aligns Stakeholders' Interests

March 5, 2013 - In a Commonwealth Fund–supported study, researchers evaluated the effects of the two main methods for assigning patients to accountable care organizations: prospective attribution, or assigning patients based on their use of services in the previous year; and retrospective attribution, in which patients are assigned at the end of the performance year.

In the Literature

Aligning Incentives in Medicaid: How Colorado, Minnesota, and Vermont Are Reforming Care Delivery and Payment to Improve Health and Lower Costs

March 1, 2013 - Colorado, Minnesota, and Vermont are working to align incentives between health care payers and providers to improve care delivery and outcomes while controlling costs. This synthesis describes the common drivers of reform across the states and lessons learned.

Case Study

Medicaid Payment and Delivery Reform in Colorado: ACOs at the Regional Level

March 1, 2013 - Colorado is one of a handful of states piloting innovative health care payment and delivery reforms through Medicaid. Under the Accountable Care Collaborative Program, which began enrollment in May 2011, the state Medicaid agency contracts with seven regional organizations to create networks of primary care providers and ensure care coordination for Medicaid enrollees.

Case Study

Medicaid Is One of Multiple Payers in Vermont’s Health Care Reforms

March 1, 2013 - Vermont Medicaid is a key player as the state pioneers multipayer health care delivery and payment reforms. Under Vermont Blueprint for Health, most Medicaid beneficiaries and state residents will be served in 2013 by medical homes with community health teams, with additional support services for Medicaid enrollees with complex conditions.

Case Study

Health Care Payment and Delivery Reform in Minnesota Medicaid

March 1, 2013 - Minnesota's Medicaid program is a leader in piloting innovative health care payment and delivery reforms. This case study is one of three in a series on innovations being undertaken by states to improve quality and efficiency in their Medicaid programs.

Case Study

Testimony—Stabilizing and Strengthening Medicare in the Context of Broader Health Reform

February 27, 2013 - In invited testimony before the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging, Commonwealth Fund president David Blumenthal made the case for comprehensive payment and delivery system changes that produce lower costs and better value not just in Medicare, but across the entire U.S. health system.


The Value of Low-Value Lists

February 27, 2013 - In this Commonwealth Fund–supported article, researchers examine the challenges to developing lists of “low-value” services and ensuring that insurers and provider organizations put them to optimal use.

In Brief

Turning Readmission Reduction Policies into Results: Some Lessons from a Multistate Initiative to Reduce Readmissions

February 25, 2013 - In this study, researchers examine the early experiences of participants in the State Action on Avoidable Rehospitalizations (STAAR) initiative, a four-year effort begun by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in 2009 and supported by The Commonwealth Fund.

In the Literature

Sit–Stand Powered Mechanical Lifts in Long-Term Care and Resident Quality Indicators

February 19, 2013 - This Commonwealth Fund–supported study examined the relationship between nursing home residents' well-being and the availability of lift equipment and safe-lifting policies and procedures.

In Brief

Safe Lifting Programs at Long-Term Care Facilities and Their Impact on Workers’ Compensation Costs

February 19, 2013 - This Commonwealth Fund–supported study examined the effect of safe-lifting programs on workers' compensation claim frequency and costs in long-term care facilities in 23 states.

In Brief

A Tale of Two Angels

February 12, 2013 - In the Annals of Internal Medicine, David Blumenthal, M.D., former National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and current Commonwealth Fund president, weighs in on the debate over whether the federal government's investment in electronic health records has been justified.

In Brief

Transforming Primary Care in the New Orleans Safety-Net: The Patient Experience

February 8, 2013 - In this Commonwealth Fund–supported study, researchers examine ratings of health care accessibility, care coordination, and confidence in the quality and safety of care as reported by patients served by New Orleans safety-net clinics—a majority of which have achieved PCMH recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance, an accrediting organization.

In Brief

Innovation in Patient-Centered Care: Lessons from a Qualitative Study of Innovative Health Care Organizations in Washington State

February 8, 2013 - There are several different approaches to promoting patient-centered care. Little is known, however, about how health care organizations choose their approach and set goals. In this Commonwealth Fund–supported study, researchers interviewed health plan leaders and providers in Washington State, a leader in patient-centered innovation.

In Brief

Do Medicaid Incentive Payments Boost Quality? Florida's Direct Care Staffing Adjustment Program

February 8, 2013 - In this Commonwealth Fund–supported study, researchers evaluated the effects of a Florida incentive program intended to improve care at nursing homes most at risk for providing poor-quality care.

In Brief

Patients with Lower Activation Associated with Higher Costs; Delivery Systems Should Know Their Patients’ ‘Scores’

February 4, 2013 - According to a Commonwealth Fund–supported study in Health Affairs, patients at a large care delivery system in Minnesota who were identified as the most "activated"―that is, participated in treatment decisions and took part in managing their own care―had significantly lower costs than those who were the least activated.

In the Literature