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Use of High-Cost Operative Procedures by Medicare Beneficiaries Enrolled in For-Profit and Not-for-Profit Health Plans

January 1, 2004 - Some have expressed concern that, in seeking to control costs, for-profit plans will limit provision of needed health care to enrollees. But are for-profit health plans more likely than not-for-profit plans to respond to financial pressures by seeking to limit access to care?

In the Literature

Physician-Citizens: Public Roles and Professional Obligations

January 1, 2004 - In recent years, health care leaders have urged physicians to become more involved in the public arena in order to cultivate public trust and address community-based causes of ill health. This article attempts to bridge the gap between the rhetoric of social responsibility and the realities of medical practice.

In the Literature

A Practice-Based Intervention to Enhance Quality of Care in the First 3 Years of Life

December 12, 2003 - The nation's first, large clinical trial designed to improve delivery of developmental and behavioral services to young children has improved quality of care, enhanced communications between pediatricians and parents, and helped children receive appropriate preventive services, according to this national evaluation.

In the Literature

ABCD: Lessons from a Four-State Consortium

December 1, 2003 - This report draws lessons from the experiences of four states that attempted to improve the delivery of early childhood development services to children through their Medicaid programs.

Fund Report

Patient-Centered Communication, Ratings of Care, and Concordance of Patient and Physician Race

December 1, 2003 - This study examines how race concordance affects patient–physician communication and patients' perceptions of the quality of their care.

In the Literature

Medicaid Managed Care in New York: A Work in Progress

December 1, 2003 - New York State has been trying to make a transition from Medicaid fee-for-service to Medicaid managed care, which policymakers believe has the potential to control costs and improve care. A new report from the United Hospital Fund finds that, so far, managed care has not lived up to these promises, mainly because of frequent "churning" among the ranks of the insured.


The Federal Employee Health Benefits Program: A Model for Workers, Not Medicare

November 1, 2003 - The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) provides decent, affordable health coverage for the 8.5 million people it serves, including the president, members of Congress, federal employees, retirees, and their families. The most tangible real-world example of "managed competition," FEHBP is a system of competing private health plans in which the government contributes a relatively fixed amount toward the employee's coverage and employees pay a premium based on the cost of the plan they choose.

Fund Report

Developmental Specialists in Pediatric Practices: Perspectives of Clinicians and Staff

November 1, 2003 - A survey of clinicians and staff at 15 practices finds that Healthy Steps specialists have become well integrated into pediatric practice.

In the Literature

Obtaining Greater Value from Health Care: The Roles of the U.S. Government

November 1, 2003 - According to this commentary, the problems in the U.S. health care system are unlikely to be solved without strong leadership from the federal government in establishing an agenda to set national priorities, develop guidelines for health care, and help to implement measures to track provider performance.

In the Literature

Battery-Powered Health Insurance: Stability in Coverage of the Uninsured

November 1, 2003 - New analysis of insurance coverage over time finds that a total of 84.8 million people under age 65 were uninsured for at least one month in the four-year period 1996 to 1999. This amounts to 38 percent of the population tracked during these four years.

In the Literature

Care for the Uninsured in General Internists' Private Offices

November 1, 2003 - General internists provide a valuable service to uninsured patients, but one that also has limitations, according to a new study.

In the Literature

Churn, Churn, Churn: How Instability of Health Insurance Shapes America's Uninsured Problem

November 1, 2003 - Nearly two of five (38%) Americans under age 65, and more than two-thirds (68%) of those with low incomes, had no health insurance at some point during 1996-1999, according to a survey that tracks coverage over time.

Issue Brief

Healthcare Workforce Diversity: Developing Physician Leaders

October 12, 2003 - While diversity in the health care workforce is a crucial mechanism for improving the health system's ability to care for minority patients, we should also pay attention to diversity among physician leaders.


The Growing Share of Uninsured Workers Employed by Large Firms

October 10, 2003 - Although large employers are much more likely than small ones to offer health coverage, recent evidence suggests that large-firm workers and their dependents comprise a significant and growing share of the working uninsured.

Fund Report

Insurance, Access, and Quality of Care Among Hispanic Populations: 2003 Chartpack

October 1, 2003 - Nearly half (45%) of Hispanics under age 65 and two-thirds (65%) of working-age Hispanics with low incomes were uninsured for all or part of the year in 2000, according to a new analysis by The Commonwealth Fund.