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Attributing Sources of Variation in Patients’ Experiences of Ambulatory Care

January 8, 2010 - This study, which seeks to explain the variation in how patients rate their experiences with primary care providers, concludes that individual physicians themselves account for the largest share of this variation, particularly in terms of the quality of their communication with patients and their support for health promotion.

In the Literature

Average Out-of-Pocket Health Care Costs for Medicare+Choice Enrollees Increase Substantially in 2002

November 1, 2002 - Medicare+Choice plans cut back on benefits such as prescription drug coverage in 2002 while enrollees faced a 40 percent rise in monthly premiums and substantial cost-sharing increases for their health care.

Issue Brief

Average Out-of-Pocket Health Care Costs for Medicare+Choice Enrollees Increase Ten Percent in 2003

January 18, 2003 - Providing evidence of eroding benefits in the Medicare+Choice managed care program, this new study finds that enrollees' average plan premiums and other out-of-pocket costs rose 10 percent in 2003 to $1,964, more than double what they were in 1999.

Issue Brief

Avoidability of Hospital Transfers of Nursing Home Residents: Perspectives of Frontline Staff

December 19, 2011 - This Commonwealth Fund–supported study examined data from 26 nursing homes involved in the Interventions to Reduce Care Transfers program, which provides nursing homes with training, tools, and resources for reducing unnecessary hospitalization.

In Brief

The Balanced Budget Act of 1997: Effects on Medicare's Home Health Benefit and Beneficiaries Who Need Long-Term Care

December 1, 1997 - The authors warn that if the changes to Medicare's home health policy brought about by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 are not implemented with caution and continually monitored, access to care may be restricted for Medicare's most vulnerable beneficiaries: poor, frail elders who need a complex mix of acute and long-term care services.

Fund Report

Bending the Curve: Options for Achieving Savings and Improving Value in U.S. Health Spending

December 18, 2007 - This analysis, prepared for The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System, finds that guaranteeing health insurance for all, when combined with policy options aimed at improving health system performance, could result in $1.5 trillion in reduced spending over the next decade.

Fund Report

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

Building Medical Homes: Lessons From Eight States with Emerging Programs

December 2, 2011 - This Commonwealth Fund report profiles eight states that are at different stages in the development and implementation of a medical home program and have relied on different strategies to encourage primary care providers to adopt the model, including developing state medical home qualification standards instead of adopting national standards.

Fund Report

CareOregon: Transforming the Role of a Medicaid Health Plan from Payer to Partner

July 22, 2010 - This case study looks at how CareOregon, an Oregon-based nonprofit Medicaid health plan, is transforming its role from payer to integrator of care on behalf of its members by partnering with health care providers to create and pursue a common vision for improving primary care delivery.

Case Study

Carolinas Medical Center: Demonstrating High Quality in the Public Sector

July 7, 2010 - High scores on core measures distinguish the Carolinas Medical Center network hospitals, and Carolinas Medical Center–University as the top performer among them. It is part of series of case studies on high-performing public hospitals.

Case Study

Caught in Between: Prescription Drug Coverage of Medicare Beneficiaries Near Poverty

August 1, 2003 - As Congress continues to debate whether and how to add prescription drug coverage to Medicare, beneficiaries with incomes near
the poverty level are in danger of being overlooked.

Issue Brief

Chronic Conditions and Disabilities: Trends and Issues for Private Drug Plans

October 1, 2003 - How can a Medicare prescription drug benefit be designed to ensure adequate
coverage for individuals with multiple chronic conditions? Because of its expected drug costs, this particular population is a challenge to insure through private market
approaches.

Issue Brief

The Commonwealth Fund/National Opinion Research Center Survey of Retiree Health Benefits, 2005: A Chartbook

July 19, 2007 - A chartbook from The Commonwealth Fund and the National Opinion Research Center offers a window into the state of retiree health benefits in the U.S.

Chartbook

Comparative Effectiveness Research and Evidence-Based Health Policy: Experience from Four Countries

June 5, 2009 - Agencies in Australia, France, Germany, and the U.K. have comparative effectiveness research agencies that offer lessons for the United States.

In the Literature

Comparative Effectiveness Review Within the U.K.'s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence

July 22, 2009 - This Commonwealth Fund issue brief examins the U.K.'s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), which was established to perform three core functions: 1) reduce unwarranted variation in practice across the United Kingdom through the development and dissemination of best practice evidence-based standards; 2) encourage fast diffusion and uniform uptake of high-value medical innovations; and 3) ensure the taxpayers’ money is invested in the National Health Service so that health benefit is maximized.

Issue Brief