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The 2002 Medicare+Choice Plan Lock-In: Should It Be Delayed?

December 1, 2001 - This issue brief points to large-scale health plan withdrawals and provider turnover in the Medicare+Choice market among reasons to delay or repeal the Medicare+Choice policy to lock beneficiaries into their plans for a specified period.

Issue Brief

Accountable Care Organizations: Commonwealth Fund Resources

October 24, 2011 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has released its final regulations for accountable care organizations (ACOs), which are organizations made up of groups of health care providers that provide coordinated care. Check out our ACO Resource Page to read Commonwealth Fund publications and blog posts on ACOs.


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

Achieving Payment Reform in Medicare

November 3, 2008 - In a new commentary on The Commonwealth Fund/Modern Healthcare Opinion Leaders Survey, Glenn Hackbarth outlines steps for implementing payment reform in Medicare.


Achieving the Vision: Payment Reform

August 5, 2010 - In a chapter for Partners in Health: How Physicians and Hospitals Can Be Accountable Together, Stuart Guterman, The Commonwealth Fund's vice president for payment and system reform, and Anthony Shih, chief quality officer for the health care consultancy IPRO, outline their vision for health care payment reform.

Literature Abstract

Adverse Selection in Private, Stand-Alone Drug Plans and Techniques to Reduce It

October 1, 2003 - No insurance companies now offer stand-alone prescription drug coverage. Why is this? One major factor may be that the cost of offering and administering a drug-only product is quite expensive.

Issue Brief

After the Bipartisan Commission: What Next for Medicare?

October 1, 1999 - Summary of Panel Discussion, New York University, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

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

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

Are Electronic Medical Records Helpful for Care Coordination? Experiences of Physician Practices

December 29, 2009 - A study of small- and medium-sized physician practices found that electronic medical record systems can help coordinate patient care within practice offices. However, because of interoperability issues, they are less able to support coordination between clinicians and across settings. Other challenges, like information overflow and reimbursement, also impede physicians' ability to use EMRs to improve patient care and coordination.

In the Literature

Are the 2004 Payment Increases Helping to Stem Medicare Advantage's Benefit Erosion?

December 10, 2004 - The MMA provided Medicare Advantage plans with significant increases in monthly payment rates, beginning March 2004. About one-half of the payment increases were used by plans to reduce enrollee premiums and cost-sharing and enhance benefits; providers received most of the rest.

Fund Report

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

Assessing Medicare Prescription Drug Plans in Four States: Balancing Cost and Access

August 24, 2006 - In each state, seniors face a dizzying array of Medicare Part D prescription drug plans—each with different benefit designs and formulary structures that are used to control costs, but may also affect enrollees' ability to access medications. This issue brief examines plans in the four most populous Medicare states—California, Florida, New York, and Texas.

Issue Brief

An Assessment of the President's Proposal to Modernize and Strengthen Medicare

June 1, 2000 - This paper discusses four elements of the President's proposal for Medicare reforms: improving the benefit package, enhancing the management tools available for the traditional Medicare program, redirecting competition in the private plan options, and adding further resources to ensure the program's security in the coming years.

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