Publications: Medicare

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Medicare's Payment Policy for Hospital-Acquired Conditions: Perspectives of Administrators from Safety-Net Hospitals

June 22, 2011 - The Commonwealth Fund-supported authors of this study interviewed quality and financial officers at safety-net hospitals about the impact of a Medicare policy limiting reimbursement for treating avoidable and costly hospital-acquired conditions.

In the Literature

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

Impact of Medicare Part D on Seniors' Out-of-Pocket Expenditures on Medications

August 10, 2010 - The Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit, implemented in January 2006, sought to reduce out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries. A new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine led by a former Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellow examined whether the program has been successful in achieving this goal.

Literature Abstract

Prescription Coverage, Use and Spending Before and After Part D Implementation: A National Longitudinal Panel Study

August 5, 2010 - This Fund-supported study of Medicare Part D implementation in the Journal of General Internal Medicine found that the majority of low-income, chronically ill seniors who still lacked prescription coverage were unaware of the low-income assistance available for Part D premiums.

Literature Abstract

Developing Innovative Payment Approaches: Finding the Path to High Performance

June 8, 2010 - The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System offers payment innovations that the new Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation should introduce to reward more-integrated, high-value care.

Issue Brief

Innovation in Medicare and Medicaid Will Be Central to Health Reform's Success

June 8, 2010 - In this Health Affairs article, Commonwealth Fund experts offer a series of recommendations for the new Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, which was established by the health reform law to develop innovative ways of providing and paying for care that have the potential to reduce costs while preserving or enhancing quality.

In the Literature