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Testimony: Senior Hunger and the Older Americans Act

June 21, 2011 - In invited testimony before the Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, the Fund's Mary Jane Koren made several federal-level recommendations that would strengthen the programs that help frail older adults maintain their independence and well-being.


Identifying, Monitoring, and Assessing Promising Innovations: Using Evaluation to Support Rapid-Cycle Change

June 16, 2011 - The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation was created by the Affordable Care Act to identify, develop, assess, support, and spread new approaches to health care financing and delivery that can help improve quality and lower costs. This issue brief reviews the mission of the Innovation Center and provides perspectives from the research community on critical issues and challenges.

Issue Brief

Medicare Physician Payment: We Get What We Pay For—How Can We Get What We Want?

May 12, 2011 - In invited testimony before the health subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives' Ways and Means Committee, the Fund's Stuart Guterman called for new payment models that will pay physicians appropriately while also improving care for beneficiaries and adding value to the Medicare program.


Interventions to Reduce Hospitalizations from Nursing Homes: Evaluation of the INTERACT II Collaborative Quality Improvement Project

April 26, 2011 - In this Commonwealth Fund–supported study, researchers tested a program that helps nursing home staff identify and manage acute conditions and status changes among nursing home residents. The program resulted in a 17 percent reduction in hospital admissions.

In the Literature

Perspectives on Health Reform—Achieving Accountable Care: Are We on the Right Path?

April 14, 2011 - The Commonwealth Fund's Commission on a High Performance Health System has released 10 recommendations to help ensure the success and spread of accountable care organizations, or ACOs. In this commentary, the Fund's Mark Zezza and Stuart Guterman use the recommendations to identify issues for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to consider in finalizing the federal rule.

Perspectives on Health Reform Brief

High Performance Accountable Care: Building on Success and Learning from Experience

April 14, 2011 - Accountable care organizations (ACOs) could achieve better care, better population health, and lower costs, according to this new report from the Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System. Also see an analysis of how the Commission's recommendations for successful ACOs align with the proposed rule for the Medicare Shared Savings Program for ACOs.

Fund Report

The Final Rule for the Medicare Shared Savings Program

April 1, 2011 - On October 20, 2011, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services released the final rule for implementing the new Medicare Shared Savings Program. This paper provides a detailed summary of the final rule.


Medicare Advantage in the Era of Health Reform: Progress in Leveling the Playing Field

March 31, 2011 - This issue brief examines the amount and distribution of payments to MA plans in 2010, statistics that will serve as a baseline for studying the impact of MA payment policies, because 2010 was the final year of payments to MA plans under the pre-health reform policies.

Issue Brief

Does Medication Adherence Lower Medicare Spending Among Beneficiaries with Diabetes?

March 31, 2011 - Commonwealth Fund–supported researchers used data from the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey to look at medication adherence rates and Medicare expenses over three years for beneficiaries who filled prescriptions for RAAS inhibitors and statins.

In Brief

Out-of-Pocket Burden of Health Care Spending and the Adequacy of the Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy

February 3, 2011 - A Commonwealth Fund-supported study examined the amount of household resources allocated to out-of-pocket health spending in the year before Medicare's Part D drug benefit took effect.

In Brief

Systematically Seeking Clinicians’ Insights to Identify New Safety Measures for Intensive Care Units and General Surgery Services

November 8, 2010 - In this Commonwealth Fund–supported study, researchers asked physicians and nurses to identify what they considered to be the most frequent and most severe patient harms occurring in intensive care units and in general surgery.

In the Literature

Starting on the Path to a High Performance Health System: Analysis of the Payment and System Reform Provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010

September 23, 2010 - This newly updated Commonwealth Fund report analyzes the new health reform law's provisions that will affect health care providers’ financial incentives, the organization and delivery of health services, investment in prevention and population health, and the capacity to achieve the best health care and health outcomes for all Americans.

Fund Report

Associations Between Physician Characteristics and Quality of Care

September 13, 2010 - A Commonwealth Fund-supported study found many of the criteria available to patients when selecting a physician—including years of experience, paid malpractice claims, and medical school rankings—are not associated with higher quality care.

In the Literature

The Ethical Review of Health Care Quality Improvement Initiatives: Findings from the Field

August 19, 2010 - The authors of this issue brief find that quality improvement initiatives are rarely reviewed by an institutional review board or another independent body charged specifically with ethical oversight.

Issue Brief

Improving Chronic Illness Care: Findings from a National Study of Care Management Processes in Large Physician Practices

August 11, 2010 - This Commonwealth Fund-supported study found that large physician organizations have been slow to adopt practices that improve quality and reduce the cost of care for the chronically ill, and will likely require external incentives and internal reforms to spur their adoption.

In the Literature