All Publications

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Assessing the Financial Health of Medicaid Managed Care Plans and the Quality of Patient Care They Provide

June 15, 2011 - In many states, Medicaid programs have contracted out the delivery of health care services to publicly traded for-profit health plans focused on Medicaid members. The authors of this Commonwealth Fund study found that publicly traded plans had higher administrative costs and received lower quality scores than non-publicly traded plans.

Issue Brief

State-Based Coverage Solutions: The California Health Benefit Exchange

May 31, 2011 - California was the first state to create its own health insurance exchange after the passage of the Affordable Care Act. This brief reports on California's key choices and how they can inform policymakers in other states as they address important exchange design issues.

Issue Brief

Health Care Opinion Leaders’ Views on Health Reform and the Role of States

May 23, 2011 - The latest Commonwealth Fund/Modern Healthcare Health Care Opinion Leaders Survey asked experts in the field about the role of states and the federal government under the Affordable Care Act.

Issue Brief

Developing Federally Qualified Health Centers into Community Networks to Improve State Primary Care Delivery Systems

May 5, 2011 - This Commonwealth Fund report finds that by fostering connections between federally qualified health centers and other private primary care providers, states may be able to connect Medicaid beneficiaries with services needed to help them manage their health and reduce costly visits to hospitals.

Fund Report

Lessons from High- and Low-Performing States for Raising Overall Health System Performance

May 3, 2011 - The authors of this Commonwealth Fund brief interviewed stakeholders in states with high-ranking and low-ranking health system performance, according to The Commonwealth Fund's State Scorecard on Health System Performance. Findings suggest there are market, political, and cultural characteristics that can help or hinder health system improvement.

Issue Brief

Community-Based Health Information Technology Alliances: Potential Predictors of Early Sustainability

April 28, 2011 - Health information technology can help reduce fragmentation of health care and improve coordination of services, but it is unclear what the optimal strategies for implementing and sustaining HIT are.

In Brief

Delivery of Well-Child Care: A Look Inside the Door

March 31, 2011 - In this Commonwealth Fund–supported study, researchers used direct observation of well-child visits to evaluate their duration and content, adherence to Bright Futures guidelines, and differences between visits with children who have special health care needs and visits with children who do not.

In Brief

Sharing Resources: Opportunities for Smaller Primary Care Practices to Increase Their Capacity for Patient Care

March 29, 2011 - This issue brief highlights strategies that can increase resources among smaller primary care practices, such as sharing clinical support services and information systems with other practices. The authors focus on models supported by states, the private sector, and the Affordable Care Act.

Issue Brief

Driving Value in Medicaid Primary Care: The Role of Shared Support Networks for Physician Practices

March 17, 2011 - This new Commonwealth Fund report explores how a system of shared supports can ensure that the independent, typically underresourced physician practices that serve a high volume of Medicaid patients is able to deliver a full range of medical home services.

Fund Report

How the Affordable Care Act Can Help Move States Toward a High-Performing System of Long-Term Services and Supports

March 8, 2011 - With its promise of enhanced federal funding, the Affordable Care Act can help states reorient their systems of long-term care away from nursing homes and institutional care and toward a greater emphasis on home- and community-based services.

In the Literature

On the Road to Better Value: State Roles in Promoting Accountable Care Organizations

February 4, 2011 - The Affordable Care Act provides incentives for providers to form accountable care organizations (ACOs) as a way to encourage care coordination and reduce health costs. A new report examines key ways in which states have supported development of the ACO model, focusing on Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington.

Fund Report

The Implications of U.S. Experiences with Early Childhood Interventions for the U.K. Sure Start Programme

February 3, 2011 - To glean lessons relevant to the U.K. government’s expansion of the Sure Start early childhood intervention program, Commonwealth Fund–supported researchers examined the experience of two similar programs in the U.S., Head Start and Early Head Start.

In Brief

Securing a Healthy Future: The Commonwealth Fund State Scorecard on Child Health System Performance, 2011

February 2, 2011 - A new Commonwealth Fund state-by-state scorecard evaluating how the health care system is working for children finds that federal and state action on behalf of children has helped preserve, and even expand, health coverage for this group, despite the severe recession. Yet across the states, wide differences persist in coverage rates, the affordability of health care, children's receipt of preventive care and treatment, and their opportunity to lead healthy lives.

Fund Report

State Strategies to Improve Quality and Efficiency: Making the Most of Opportunities in National Health Reform

December 23, 2010 - This Commonwealth Fund/National Academy for State Health Policy report examines Affordable Care Act provisions that support state system improvement goals and profiles efforts in 10 states: Colorado, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

Fund Report

Strengthening Primary and Chronic Care: State Innovations to Transform and Link Small Practices

December 15, 2010 - This report examines the roles states are playing to reorganize the delivery of primary and chronic care to produce more efficient and effective care for patients and providers, particularly in small practices.

Fund Report