Publications: Medicare

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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.


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

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

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