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Aiming Higher for Health System Performance: A Profile of Seven States That Perform Well on The Commonwealth Fund's 2009 State Scorecard

October 8, 2009 - As a companion to the 2009 State Scorecard, this report profiles seven health systems: six that rank among the top quartile of states—Vermont, Hawaii, Iowa, Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin—plus Delaware, which was among the most-improved states from 2007 to 2009.

Fund Report

Aiming Higher: Results from a State Scorecard on Health System Performance

June 13, 2007 - The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System has released the first-ever, comprehensive comparison of health system performance in all 50 states. This report ranks states on 32 performance indicators of access, quality, avoidable hospital use and costs, equity, and "healthy lives."

Fund Report

Aiming Higher: Results from a State Scorecard on Health System Performance, 2009

October 8, 2009 - The cost and quality of health care, as well as access to care and health outcomes, continue to vary widely among states, according to the Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System's second state scorecard report. The states that led in the first state scorecard, released in 2007, generally continued to lead, often setting new benchmarks and widening the gap between leading and lagging states.

Fund Report

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

Allocating Scarce Resources in Real Time to Reduce Heart Failure Readmissions: A Prospective, Controlled Study

August 1, 2013 - This Commonwealth Fund–supported study tests the theory that applying such programs only to those patients most at risk for rehospitalization may be a more effective strategy.

In Brief

Allowing Small Businesses and the Self-Employed to Buy Health Care Coverage Through Public Programs

December 9, 2000 - This report examines the need for a coverage initiative that fosters greater access to affordable benefits through employment, particularly in light of the strong support that employment-based coverage enjoys among the public. Under this proposed program, states would organize a group health insurance market for small firms with low-wage workers.

Fund Report

All-Payer Claims Databases: State Initiatives to Improve Health Care Transparency

September 10, 2010 - This brief looks at states' efforts to create all-payer claims databases, in order to gather comprehensive information on disease incidence, treatment costs, and health outcomes. These databases are providing essential trend data that will be needed to guide policymakers through the transitions health care reform will bring.

Issue Brief

All-Payer Claims Databases: State Initiatives to Improve Health Care Transparency

September 10, 2010 - This brief looks at states' efforts to create all-payer claims databases, in order to gather comprehensive information on disease incidence, treatment costs, and health outcomes. These databases are providing essential trend data that will be needed to guide policymakers through the transitions health care reform will bring.

Issue Brief

Alternative Paths to a High Performance U.S. Health System: Impact of Three Approaches on Health Care Spending

July 17, 2009 - National health reform efforts are seeking to expand insurance coverage, improve quality of care, and "bend the health care cost curve." This publication highlights data from a Commonwealth Fund report that analyzed alternative approaches to defining the role of a public plan and presented estimates of the potential impacts on health spending compared with projected trends.

Policy Points

The 'Alternative Quality Contract,' Based on a Global Budget, Lowered Medical Spending and Improved Quality

July 12, 2012 - A Commonwealth Fund-supported study of a global reimbursement pilot project in Massachusetts found the payment models achieved average two-year savings of 2.8 percent. These results indicate such programs may be effective at controlling health care spending and improving quality.

In the Literature

Alzheimer's Disease: Research Advances and Medical Reality

August 5, 2005 - This issue brief, prepared for the 2005 Commonwealth Fund/Kennedy School of Government Bipartisan Congressional Retreat, provides an overview of the challenges facing policymakers making funding decisions about Alzheimer's disease.

Issue Brief

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

American Journal of Public Health: Racial and Ethnic Disparities

October 1, 2003 - The root causes of disparities in the quality of care between minority Americans, including blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans, and whites are not well understood, but a new study finds that patient-physician interactions contribute to the problem.

In the Literature

American Primary Care Physicians’ Decisions to Leave Their Practice: Evidence from the 2009 Commonwealth Fund Survey of Primary Care Doctors

March 20, 2012 - According to a Commonwealth Fund survey, 30 percent of younger primary care physicians were planning to leave their practices within five years, and among older doctors 27 percent were planning to retire and 25 percent were planning to leave their practices for other reasons within five years.

In Brief

Americans' Experiences in the Health Insurance Marketplaces: Results from the First Month

November 4, 2013 - This Commonwealth Fund survey found that more than half of U.S. adults who are potentially eligible for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, but who have not yet signed up for a plan, say they will likely try to enroll or to find out about financial help by the end of March 2014, the close of the open enrollment period.

Data Brief