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The Uninsured and the Benefits of Medical Progress

July 1, 2003 - Advances in medical technology have dramatically improved the lives of many Americans suffering from conditions as varied as heart attack, cataracts, and depression. But new research reveals that people without health insurance are not getting the same access as the insured are to these innovative treatments.

In the Literature

Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance and Prescription Drug Coverage for New Retirees: Dramatic Declines in Five Years

July 1, 2003 - Despite its reputation as the most reliable private source of prescription drug coverage for Medicare beneficiaries, employer-sponsored health insurance is becoming increasingly less dependable for new retirees.

In the Literature

American Health Care: Why So Costly? Testimony for the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee

June 11, 2003 - The U.S. has the highest health care spending per capita in the world, and during the 1990s health spending in the U.S. rose faster than in other industrialized nations. The key to containing costs—as well as getting higher value for what we spend—may well lie in fundamental changes in the supply side of the market.

Testimony

Unintended Consequences: How Federal Regulations and Hospital Policies Can Leave Patients in Debt

June 6, 2003 - Congress is now considering changes to how hospitals charge for care and collect payment—practices that are major contributors to medical debt. An issue brief update highlights key developments at the state and national levels.

Fund Report

The Costs and Consequences of Being Uninsured

June 1, 2003 - Lack of health coverage takes an enormous toll on the uninsured, in thousands of avoidable deaths each year, poorly managed chronic conditions, undetected or untreated cancer, and untried life-saving medical procedures. According to emerging research, being uninsured has multiple economic consequences as well.

In the Literature

Lessons from Medicare+Choice for Medicare Reform

June 1, 2003 - Although many private M+C plans perform well compared with fee-for-service Medicare on selected preventive health measures, on other measures—including access to care, stability of providers, simplicity of benefit structure, and costs to the Medicare program—the history of M+C is less positive.

Issue Brief

Common Concerns Amid Diverse Systems: Health Care Experiences in Five Countries

May 4, 2003 - A survey of patients with health problems in the United States and four other industrialized countries reveals disturbingly high rates of medical errors, lack of coordination in patient care, poor communication between doctors and patients, and barriers when accessing care.

In the Literature

The Canadian Health Care System: Views and Experiences of Adults with Health Problems

May 1, 2003 - The Commonwealth Fund 2002 International Health Policy Survey finds that one of four Canadians with health problems believes that the quality of care in their country has deteriorated in the past two years—a higher proportion than found for sicker adults in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Data Brief

The New Zealand Health Care System: Views and Experiences of Adults with Health Problems.

May 1, 2003 - According to the Commonwealth Fund 2002 International Health Policy Survey, nearly half of New Zealanders with health problems were dissatisfied with their health care system—the highest level of dissatisfaction in this survey of adults in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Yet, New Zealanders also gave their physicians the highest ratings in the five-nation survey and stand out for reporting few problems waiting to see their regular doctors.

Data Brief

The Australian Health Care System: Views and Experiences of Adults with Health Problems

May 1, 2003 - The Commonwealth Fund 2002 International Health Policy Survey finds that Australians with health problems are at risk for medical errors and care coordination problems. One of four Australian adults with health problems believed a medical mistake or medication error had been made in their care in the past two years.

Data Brief

The United Kingdom Health Care System: Views and Experiences of Adults with Health Problems

May 1, 2003 - The Commonwealth Fund 2002 International Health Policy Survey of adults with health problems in five nations finds that the U.K. health system is notable for its lack of financial barriers to needed care. Adults with health problems in the U.K. were far less likely than their counterparts in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or the United States to forgo needed medical care due to costs or say that costs of medical care were a major burden. Yet, U.K. adults were more likely than their counterparts in other countries to indicate missed opportunities to discuss treatments or concerns with their doctors.

Data Brief

The United States Health Care System: Views and Experiences of Adults with Health Problems.

May 1, 2003 - According to the Commonwealth Fund 2002 International Health Policy Survey, U.S. adults who have health problems experience medical errors, care coordination problems, and cost-related access difficulties at high rates. More than one-fourth of sicker adults who were surveyed in the United States said that a medical mistake or medication error had occurred in their care in the past two years, a rate higher than that seen for the four other countries surveyed—Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

Data Brief

Value-Based Purchasing: A Review of the Literature

May 1, 2003 - In order to understand the strategies, extent, and impact of current value-based purchasing activities, the authors performed a comprehensive literature review of peer-reviewed journals, non-journal publications, and reports by governmental and nonprofit organizations from 1995 to March 2002.

Fund Report

Building a Bridge from Birth to School: Improving Developmental and Behavioral Health Services for Young Children

May 1, 2003 - Most American infants and young children receive adequate, often excellent, well-child care, but they may not receive needed help if developmental problems arise. Although pediatric practices and health plans are ideally positioned to address developmental problems and promote optimal development, many barriers to doing so exist. Doctors may be unequipped to offer families the comprehensive health promotion and developmental health services they need, and health plans and other payers may not adequately reimburse such services. Without appropriate health services, many cognitive, speech, language, and other developmental problems may not be identified.

Fund Report

Whither Seniors' Pharmacare: Lessons from (and for) Canada

May 1, 2003 - Although Canada's national health care system does not provide outpatient prescription drug coverage, Canadian provincial governments have developed a range of plans that have historically provided generous coverage to seniors. Yet, ongoing spending increases and cost-sharing requirements are threatening the public drug subsidies.

In the Literature