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Value-Driven Health Care Purchasing: Case Study of the Massachusetts Group Insurance Commission

August 15, 2007 - The Massachusetts Group Insurance Commission (GIC) is the state's largest purchaser of health care after Medicaid, covering more than 267,000 state employees, retirees, and their dependents. In 2003, the GIC launched the Clinical Performance Improvement initiative, focused on improving provider performance and quality of care.

Fund Report

Value-Driven Health Care Purchasing: Case Study of Minnesota's Smart Buy Alliance

August 15, 2007 - The Smart Buy Alliance is a group of public and private health care purchasers in Minnesota working together in hopes of driving greater quality and value in the market. Its members--including the state agencies overseeing Medicaid and public employee health benefits, along with coalitions of businesses and labor unions--represent about 60 percent of state residents.

Fund Report

Lessons from Local Access Initiatives: Contributions and Challenges

August 14, 2007 - Community health initiatives--locally crafted responses to health care access problems--have been steadfast in their efforts to connect uninsured and medically indigent people to health care services and health insurance. This report offers five case studies of community health initiatives that seek to improve access and coverage for those most likely to be uninsured: low-income, nonelderly adults.

Fund Report

Reauthorizing SCHIP: Opportunities for Promoting Effective Health Coverage and High-Quality Care for Children and Adolescents

August 9, 2007 - The July 2007 House and Senate bills reauthorizing the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) include provisions to enhance quality in the program. In this report, noted child health experts offer strategies for promoting effective health coverage and achieving high quality through SCHIP and Medicaid.

Fund Report

Health Care Opinion Leaders' Views on the Quality and Safety of Health Care in the United States

July 30, 2007 - As health care quality and patient safety concerns rise, the latest Commonwealth Fund Health Care Opinion Leaders survey finds leaders united behind several key reform measures: more than half (56%) support the creation of a new public-private entity to coordinate quality efforts and form a national quality agenda; 95% believe that fundamental payment reform is needed; and three-fourths (73%) say that greater organization and integration of provider care is necessary for improved quality and efficiency.

Data Brief

Measuring Hospital Performance: The Importance of Process Measures

July 27, 2007 - The authors of a new Data Brief prepared for the Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System contend that the process measures used by the Hospital Quality Alliance can have an impact on quality and health outcomes.

Data Brief

An Analysis of Leading Congressional Health Care Bills, 2005-2007: Part II, Quality and Efficiency

July 26, 2007 - The U.S. health care system will become a high performance health system only with strong leadership from the federal government in partnership with the private sector. A prior report analyzed the likely effect on U.S. health system performance of congressional legislative proposals to extend health insurance coverage. This report addresses the major bills introduced over 2005-2007 designed to advance the quality and efficiency of the health system.

Fund Report

The Inverse Relationship Between Mortality Rates and Performance in the Hospital Quality Alliance Measures

July 16, 2007 - If the lowest-performing U.S. hospitals performed as well as top-performers on specific quality measures, 2,200 fewer Americans would die each year, according to a new Fund-supported study.

In the Literature

Measuring and Reducing Waiting Times: A Cross-National Comparison of Strategies

July 16, 2007 - In this study, former Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellows examine strategies used to reduce waiting times in five countries: Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, and Wales. Among the five, the researchers found that England achieved the most sustained improvement in reducing waiting times, due to "major funding boosts, ambitious wait-time targets, and a rigorous performance management system."

In the Literature

Denver Health: A High-Performance Public Health Care System

July 12, 2007 - In March 2006, members of the Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System paid a visit to Denver Health, Colorado's largest health care safety-net provider, to learn more about how this fully integrated health system has managed to achieve a national reputation for high performance. A new Fund report shows how Denver Health could serve as a model for other public and private health systems around the country.

Fund Report

Use of Health Services by Previously Uninsured Medicare Beneficiaries

July 12, 2007 - A new Commonwealth Fund-supported study by Harvard Medical School researchers finds that chronically ill Medicare beneficiaries who were previously uninsured used health services more intensively and required costlier care compared with their previously insured counterparts.

In the Literature

Congressional Testimony-- Universal Health Insurance: Why It Is Essential to a High Performing Health System and Why Design Matters

June 26, 2007 - Our nation's failure to provide adequate health insurance to millions is a major factor in the inconsistent performance of the nation's health system, testified Commonwealth Fund vice president Sara Collins, Ph.D., before the United States Senate.


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

Health Care Opinion Leaders' Views on Priorities for SCHIP Reauthorization

April 23, 2007 - As the debate over reauthorization of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) heats up in Washington, a diverse group of leaders in health policy and health care praise the program for increasing low-income children's access to affordable health care.

Data Brief

Women and Health Coverage: The Affordability Gap

April 19, 2007 - Women are more likely than men to have problems accessing health care because of costs, a new Commonwealth Fund issue brief finds. The primary reasons: women's comparatively greater health care needs and lower incomes.

Issue Brief