Publications: Medicare

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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

The Inverse Relationship Between Mortality Rates and Performance in the Hospital Quality Alliance Measures

July 16, 2007 - If the lowest-performing U.S. hospitals performed as well as top-performers on specific quality measures, 2,200 fewer Americans would die each year, according to a new Fund-supported study.

In the Literature

Key Design Elements of Shared-Savings Payment Arrangements

August 16, 2011 - For this Commonwealth Fund issue brief, the authors interviewed payer and provider organizations and state agencies involved in shared-savings arrangements about their approaches, including the populations and services covered, the assignment of providers, the use of risk adjustment, and the way savings are calculated and distributed.

Issue Brief

Key Issues Affecting Accessibility to Medigap Insurance

August 1, 1997 - Long-term care and prescription drugs are generally not covered by Medicare. Some choose to insure against Medicare's cost-sharing by purchasing a Medicare Supplemental Insurance Policy, also known as Medigap.

Fund Report

Language Barriers to Health Care Access Among Medicare Beneficiaries

February 27, 2007 - There has been relatively little research documenting the health-related language barriers facing older adults. This Fund-supported study finds that Medicare beneficiaries with limited English proficiency are less likely than those who are proficient in English to have access to a consistent source of care and less likely to receive important preventive care.

In the Literature

Lessons from Medicare+Choice for Medicare Reform

June 1, 2003 - Although many private M+C plans perform well compared with fee-for-service Medicare on selected preventive health measures, on other measures—including access to care, stability of providers, simplicity of benefit structure, and costs to the Medicare program—the history of M+C is less positive.

Issue Brief

Leveling the Playing Field: Financing the Missions of Academic Health Centers

May 1, 1997 - This policy report reviews the pressures academic health centers face due to market forces and how these pressures affect their ability to carry out their academic and indigent care missions.

Fund Report

The Long Wait: The Impact of Delaying Medicare Coverage for People with Disabilities

May 20, 2009 - At a particularly difficult point in their lives, disabled individuals must wait two years before they are eligible to begin receiving Medicare benefits--a delay that can block access to needed care and relief from financial pressures.

Perspectives on Health Reform Brief

Low-Quality, High-Cost Hospitals, Mainly in South, Care for Sharply Higher Shares of Elderly Black, Hispanic, and Medicaid Patients

October 5, 2011 - Hospitals marked by low quality and high costs have double the proportion of elderly black patients as high-quality, low-cost hospitals, according to a new study in Health Affairs. Similar disparities were found for elderly Hispanic and Medicaid patients.

In the Literature

Managing Program Costs in State Pharmacy Assistance Programs

February 1, 2004 - Faced with higher costs and budget pressures, state pharmacy assistance programs have experimented with a variety of cost-control measures. Practices to encourage prescribing generic drugs have been particularly effective in achieve cost savings.

Fund Report

Measuring Progress Toward Accountable Care

December 14, 2012 - This report on 59 hospital-based organizations that were members of a collaborative created to support the transition to accountable care finds that that organizations are pursuing different paths toward accountable care.

Fund Report

Medicare Advantage: Déjà Vu All Over Again?

December 15, 2004 - Medicare Advantage has the opportunity to learn from the experiences of its predecessor, Medicare+Choice. In a Health Affairs Web Exclusive, researchers consider six challenges facing the program, including simplifying health plan choices for enrollees and addressing plans' efforts to avoid enrolling sicker, higher-cost beneficiaries.

In the Literature

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

Medicare Advantage: Options for Standardizing Benefits and Information to Improve Consumer Choice

April 14, 2008 - The Medicare Advantage program offers seniors a choice of private health plans, but many consumers have trouble understanding how these plans differ. This Commonwealth Fund issue brief explains that the problem lies in the high degree of variability and complexity in Medicare Advantage plans--and the lack of good information for making educated choices.

Issue Brief

Medicare Advantage Reforms: Comparing House and Senate Bills

December 21, 2009 - This Commonwealth Fund issue brief compares approaches to reducing Medicare Advantage payments and other provisions in the House and Senate bills that aim to improve the value that Medicare obtains for the dollars it spends.

Issue Brief