The Commonwealth Fund Connection

The Commonwealth Fund Connection is a roundup of recent Fund publications, charts, multimedia, and other timely content. 

Care Coordination for the Chronically Ill
National policymakers have a vested interest in supporting and promoting effective care coordination interventions for patients with the highest health needs, say Rachel Nuzum, M.P.H., Caryn Marks, and Megan Keenan, M.P.H., in a new post on The Commonwealth Fund Blog. The authors discuss this and other takeways from an August 11, 2011, Alliance for Health Reform/Commonwealth Fund briefing about new approaches to coordinating care for the chronically ill. Such interventions as team-based care have the potential to both lower spending and improve health outcomes, the authors say.
Health Care Opinion Leaders' Views on Vulnerable Populations in the U.S. Health System
Nearly all the experts surveyed in the latest Commonwealth Fund/Modern Healthcare Health Care Opinion Leaders Survey believe traditional safety-net health care providers will continue to play crucial roles even after the Affordable Care Act is implemented. For commentary, read blog posts by Patricia Gabow, M.D., CEO of Denver Health and member of the Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System, and David N. Sundwall, M.D., a primary care physician and former executive director of the Utah Department of Health.
Health Spending Continues to Moderate, Cost of Reform Overestimated
In a new blog post, Commonwealth Fund president Karen Davis says that new data showing health spending is growing at a slower rate is somewhat reassuring news for the millions of American families and businesses who have struggled with rising health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs over the past decade. Davis says it's also good news for the federal government, as the slowdown indicates that the cost of health reform has been overestimated.
U.S. Physician Practices Spend Nearly Four Times as Much Money Interacting with Health Plans and Payers Than Do Their Canadian Counterparts
In a new Health Affairs study comparing the costs physicians in the U.S. and Canada incur when they have to deal with multiple health insurers, Commonwealth Fund–supported researchers show just how much more U.S. practices spend than their counterparts across the border.
Achieving Efficiency: Lessons from Four Top-Performing Hospitals
new report synthesizing findings from four hospital case studies showcases opportunities for all hospitals to achieve greater efficiency. The case studies focus on four of the 13 Leapfrog Group–designated "Highest Value Hospitals." These include Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina, Minn., North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo, Miss., Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park, Minn., and Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, Ore.
New Guidelines Mean Women with Insurance Will Get More Preventive Services Free
Ruth Robertson, M.Sc., senior research associate for The Commonwealth Fund's Program on Affordable Health Insurance, says on The Commonwealth Fund Blog that the federal guidelines on women's preventive services issued last week should go a long way toward ensuring women no longer miss out on needed preventive services.
Reviving Full-Service Family Practice in British Columbia
This issue brief explains the origin of dissatisfaction with family practice in Canada and the reforms British Columbia has made to improve physician morale and engagement, and improve patient care at lower cost, without radically restructuring the provincial health care system.
New Releases from The Safety Net Medical Home Initiative
The Safety Net Medical Home Initiative has just released two new medical home implementation guides: Elevating the Role of the Medical/Clinical Assistant: Maximizing Team-Based Care in the Patient-Centered Medical Home and Quality Improvement Strategy Part 1: Choosing and Using a QI Framework. Also newly available are a video on the initiative’s progress and a series of e-forums, which offer audio and slides. See our Safety Net Medical Home Initiative page for all multimedia and a complete list of implantation guides.
New Video: Smarter Ways to Pay for Care
In a new Alliance for Health Reform video, Karen Davis, president of The Commonwealth Fund, says the best way to reduce unnecessary health care spending is to make sure everyone gets the right care, using new provider payment mechanisms such as bundled payment and value-based purchasing. In this video, Davis describes some of these payment reforms and lays out the case for greater use of comparative effectiveness research to learn "what really works."
Visit ChartCart
Visit ChartCart to save or download Commonwealth Fund slides and use them in your presentations. Recent additions include charts from the Health Care Opinion Leaders' Views on Vulnerable Populations in the U.S. Health System and Multinational Comparisons of Health System Data, 2010.