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Assessing Care Integration for Dual-Eligible Beneficiaries: A Review of Quality Measures Chosen by States in the Financial Alignment Initiative

March 24, 2014 - As part of the federal Financial Alignment Initiative, states have the opportunity to test care models for dual-eligible Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, with the goals of enhancing access to services, improving care quality, containing costs, and reducing administrative barriers.

Issue Brief

Patient-Centered Medical Home Transformation with Payment Reform: Patient Experience Outcomes

February 10, 2014 - Commonwealth Fund–supported researchers compared patients' experiences in a primary care clinic that implemented the PCMH model, along with lean process changes (which seek to maximize value and reduce waste) and a new approach to physician reimbursement, with patients' experiences in a similar clinic that did not make such changes.

In the Literature

Use of Telemedicine Can Reduce Hospitalizations of Nursing Home Residents and Generate Savings for Medicare

February 5, 2014 - Results from a new Commonwealth Fund–supported study in Health Affairs led by Harvard Medical School's David C. Grabowski confirm that telemedicine can be a cost-effective alternative to a trip to the hospital.

In the Literature

The Effect of Bundled Payment on Emergency Department Use: Alternative Quality Contract Effects After Year One

January 31, 2014 - In this study, Commonwealth Fund–supported researchers examined Blue Cross Blue Shield's experiment with a global payment system in Massachusetts and its impact on emergency department use.

In Brief

Global Budgets and Technology-Intensive Medical Services

January 31, 2014 - This Commonwealth Fund-supported study found evidence that, over the first two years of Blue Cross Blue Shield's experiment with a global payment system in Massachusetts, overused medical services were successfully targeted.

In Brief

Analysis of Early Accountable Care Organizations Defines Patient, Structural, Cost, and Quality-of-Care Characteristics

January 6, 2014 - There is strong enthusiasm for ACOs among policymakers and some health industry leaders, but there is little information available about the early entrants in these still very young programs. This study identified ACOs that had joined the Medicare programs as of fall 2012 to collect baseline information about their patient populations, quality, hospitals, and costs.

In the Literature

Improving Value in Medicare with an SGR Fix

December 20, 2013 - While the current bipartisan attempts to fixing the way Medicare providers are paid hold promise, "the devil is in the details, and those have yet to be spelled out," author Gail Wilensky writes in this New England Journal of Medicine article.

In Brief

Developing a Viable Alternative to Medicare's Physician Payment Strategy

December 11, 2013 - This Commonnwealth Fund–supported study in Health Affairs looks at proposals to replace the way Medicare pays provider, as well as pilot programs that are experimenting with new ways to organize or pay physicians—like patient-centered medical homes, accountable care organizations, and bundled payment.

In Brief

Better Care at Lower Cost: Is It Possible?

November 21, 2013 - This brief examines the sources of high costs in the United States, the obstacles to getting them under control, and the promising public and private efforts under way to uncover the secret to high-value health care.

Health Reform and You

Contemporary Data About Hospital Strategies to Reduce Unplanned Readmissions: What Has Changed?

October 25, 2013 - To reduce the need for readmissions and improve patients’ health and well-being, many hospitals are participating in quality improvement campaigns focused on this problem. To assess progress, Commonwealth Fund–supported researchers surveyed hospitals taking part in the Hospital to Home initiative.

In Brief

State Innovation Models: Early Experiences and Challenges of an Initiative to Advance Broad Health System Reform

September 25, 2013 - Under the State Innovation Models Initiative, the federal government is providing funding and technical assistance to states that are testing new health care delivery and payment models that seek to move beyond Medicaid to achieve broader health system reform. This brief reports on states' early experiences and challenges.

Issue Brief

A Tale of Two States: The Health Care Income Divide Visualized

September 18, 2013 - Watch this interactive explainer featuring highlights from The Commonwealth Fund Scorecard on State Health System Performance for Low-Income Populations, 2013.


Health Care in the Two Americas: Findings from the Scorecard on State Health System Performance for Low-Income Populations, 2013

September 18, 2013 - The Commonwealth Fund's Scorecard on State Health System Performance for Low-Income Populations, 2013, identifies opportunities for states to improve their health systems for economically disadvantaged populations and provides state benchmarks of achievement.

Fund Report

Effect of a Multipayer Patient-Centered Medical Home on Health Care Utilization and Quality: The Rhode Island Chronic Care Sustainability Initiative Pilot Program

September 10, 2013 - Early findings from a Commonwealth Fund–supported evaluation of one of the first medical home programs involving multiple payers show that participating physician practices achieved some notable improvements, including a significant reduction in emergency room visits for conditions that could have been treated in an ambulatory care setting, like a doctor’s office.

In the Literature

Option Pricing: A Flexible Tool to Disseminate Shared Savings Contracts

September 3, 2013 - This Commonwealth Fund–supported study examines new tools that improve the business case for shared-savings contracts and may encourage more widespread adoption.

In Brief