Publications: Medicare

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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

Improving Value in Medicare with an SGR Fix

December 20, 2013 - While the current bipartisan attempts to fixing the way Medicare providers are paid hold promise, "the devil is in the details, and those have yet to be spelled out," author Gail Wilensky writes in this New England Journal of Medicine article.

In Brief

Developing a Viable Alternative to Medicare's Physician Payment Strategy

December 11, 2013 - This Commonnwealth Fund–supported study in Health Affairs looks at proposals to replace the way Medicare pays provider, as well as pilot programs that are experimenting with new ways to organize or pay physicians—like patient-centered medical homes, accountable care organizations, and bundled payment.

In Brief

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

Contemporary Data About Hospital Strategies to Reduce Unplanned Readmissions: What Has Changed?

October 25, 2013 - To reduce the need for readmissions and improve patients’ health and well-being, many hospitals are participating in quality improvement campaigns focused on this problem. To assess progress, Commonwealth Fund–supported researchers surveyed hospitals taking part in the Hospital to Home initiative.

In Brief

A Tale of Two States: The Health Care Income Divide Visualized

September 18, 2013 - Watch this interactive explainer featuring highlights from The Commonwealth Fund Scorecard on State Health System Performance for Low-Income Populations, 2013.


Health Care in the Two Americas: Findings from the Scorecard on State Health System Performance for Low-Income Populations, 2013

September 18, 2013 - The Commonwealth Fund's Scorecard on State Health System Performance for Low-Income Populations, 2013, identifies opportunities for states to improve their health systems for economically disadvantaged populations and provides state benchmarks of achievement.

Fund Report

Illustrating Potential Efficiency Gains from Using Cost-Effectiveness Evidence to Reallocate Medicare Expenses

May 28, 2013 - Commonwealth Fund–supported researchers illustrate the potential gains in health and efficiency if decision-makers at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services were to take into account cost-effectiveness when making Medicare coverage decisions.

In Brief

Medicare Essential: An Option to Promote Better Care and Curb Spending Growth

May 6, 2013 - Combining Medicare's hospital, physician, and prescription drug coverage with commonly purchased private supplemental coverage into one health plan could produce national savings of $180 billion over a decade while improving care for beneficiaries, a new Health Affairs study finds.

In the Literature

Early Adopters of the Accountable Care Model: A Field Report on Improvements in Health Care Delivery

March 13, 2013 - Based on interviews with clinical and administrative leaders, this report describes the experiences of seven accountable care organizations (ACOs).

Fund Report

Testimony—Stabilizing and Strengthening Medicare in the Context of Broader Health Reform

February 27, 2013 - In invited testimony before the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging, Commonwealth Fund president David Blumenthal made the case for comprehensive payment and delivery system changes that produce lower costs and better value not just in Medicare, but across the entire U.S. health system.


The Visiting Nurse Service of New York's Choice Health Plans: Continuous Care Management for Dually Eligible Medicare and Medicaid Beneficiaries

January 23, 2013 - This case study describes how a large nonprofit home health care provider created health plans to serve this population and, in particular, how its customized care management approach has led to reductions in hospitalizations and readmissions.

Case Study

Regions with Higher Medicare Part D Spending Show Better Drug Adherence, But Not Lower Medicare Costs for Two Diseases

January 8, 2013 - In this Commonwealth Fund–supported study, researchers set out to determine whether there was any relationship between geographic variation in Medicare Part D spending and medication-taking behavior among beneficiaries with diabetes or heart failure.

In Brief

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

Health Care in the 2012 Presidential Election: How the Obama and Romney Plans Stack Up

October 2, 2012 - With President Obama and Governor Romney offering fundamentally different visions for the nation's health system, the presidential election provides a stark choice for U.S. voters. This analysis contrasts the potential impact of implementing the Affordable Care Act in full with Romney’s proposals to repeal the law, eliminate many of the new requirements for insurance markets, and make changes in Medicaid and Medicare.

Fund Report