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Spending Differences Associated with the Medicare Physician Group Practice Demonstration

September 12, 2012 - This Commonwealth Fund–supported study estimated the savings achieved by the Physician Group Practice Demonstration for all beneficiaries and specifically for dual-eligible beneficiaries—a population that has been difficult to manage because of high rates of illness burden, low socioeconomic status, and lack of social supports.

In the Literature

A Randomized, Controlled Trial of Implementing the Patient-Centered Medical Home Model in Solo and Small Practices

September 10, 2012 - This Commonwealth Fund–supported evaluation tested the impact of providing small practices with external support for the transition to a medical home, including help with practice redesign and care management and increased reimbursement.

In the Literature

The Design and Application of Shared Savings Programs: Lessons from Early Adopters

September 4, 2012 - This Commonwealth Fund-supported study finds that understanding the advantages and pitfalls of different shared-savings program design features is critical to reducing costs and improving the quality of patient care.

In the Literature

Introducing Decision Aids at Group Health Was Linked to Sharply Lower Hip and Knee Surgery Rates and Costs

September 4, 2012 - This Commonwealth Fund–supported study measured the influence of decision aids on care and identified the characteristics of patients who chose surgery and the factors that influenced treatment costs.

In the Literature

Psychosocial Care in Nursing Homes in the Era of MDS 3.0: Perspectives of the Experts

August 27, 2012 - The authors of this Commonwealth Fund–supported article convened a panel of experts from diverse disciplines and organizations to identify and evaluate resources available to nursing homes and make recommendations to improve psychosocial care.

In Brief

Shared-Savings Payment Arrangements in Health Care: Six Case Studies

August 20, 2012 - This report presents six case studies of pilot shared-savings programs across the country. The cases reveal program variation in the patient populations subject to shared-savings approaches, the health care services covered, the determination of cost savings and payouts to providers, the use of performance targets, and performance measurement.

Fund Report

Hospitals on the Path to Accountable Care: Highlights from a 2011 National Survey of Hospital Readiness to Participate in an Accountable Care Organization

August 17, 2012 - This issue brief reports on results from a survey that assesses hospitals' readiness to participate in ACOs, which shows the U.S. is at the beginning of the ACO adoption curve.

Issue Brief

Including Safety-Net Providers in Integrated Delivery Systems: Issues and Options for Policymakers

August 14, 2012 - This issue brief explores key design considerations for including safety-net providers in integrated delivery systems, which provide or arrange a coordinated continuum of health care services to a defined population, and hold themselves accountable for the outcomes and health status of their patients.

Issue Brief

Accountable Care Strategies: Lessons from the Premier Health Care Alliance's Accountable Care Collaborative

August 9, 2012 - This report shares the perspectives of hospitals and health systems taking part in the Premier health care alliance's accountable care implementation collaborative. Lessons relate to the need for ACOs to have certain core structural components; the viability of different organizational models; and more.

Fund Report

Addressing Women's Health Needs and Improving Birth Outcomes: Results from a Peer-to-Peer State Medicaid Learning Project

August 8, 2012 - This brief examines seven Medicaid agencies that have worked to develop the programs, policies, and infrastructures needed to identify and reduce women's health risks either prior to or between pregnancies in an effort to lower high rates of maternal mortality, infant mortality, and preterm births.

Issue Brief

The Post-Katrina Conversion of Clinics in New Orleans to Medical Homes Shows Change Is Possible, But Hard to Sustain

August 6, 2012 - Given the right incentives, safety-net primary care clinics can make the transition to become patient-centered medical homes. The results of the New Orleans program, however, underscore that primary care transformation is a long process, and one difficult to achieve and sustain.

In the Literature

The Promise and Peril of Accountable Care for Vulnerable Populations: A Framework for Overcoming Obstacles

August 6, 2012 - According to this Commonwealth Fund-supported study, strategies that support accountable care organization (ACO) formation in diverse settings, as well as the monitoring, measuring, and rewarding of provider performance, may help to ensure that the nation's most vulnerable patients have access to the higher-quality, lower-cost care that ACOs are designed to achieve.

In the Literature

Strained Local and State Government Finances Among Current Realities That Threaten Public Hospitals' Profitability

August 6, 2012 - This Commonwealth Fund study of 150 safety-net hospitals finds that, to overcome declining government subsidies, safety-net hospitals governed by elected politicians must focus on cost control, quality improvement, and services that attract insured patients.

In the Literature

Contemporary Evidence About Hospital Strategies for Reducing 30-Day Readmissions: A National Study

July 20, 2012 - In a new article published online by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Commonwealth Fund–supported researchers discuss findings from their survey of more than 500 U.S. hospitals that looked at the use of 10 practices associated with lower readmission rates for heart failure and heart attack.

In the Literature

Medicare Beneficiaries Less Likely to Experience Cost- and Access-Related Problems than Adults with Private Coverage

July 18, 2012 - The authors of this Commonwealth Fund-supported study found that Medicare beneficiaries are more satisfied with their health coverage—and have fewer health care access and medical bill problems—than adults with private insurance.

In the Literature