The Commonwealth Fund Connection is a roundup of recent Fund publications, charts, multimedia, and other timely content.
In the last two years, an estimated 9 million working-age adults became uninsured after losing a job with health benefits, according to The Commonwealth Fund's 2010 Biennial Health Insurance Survey. The results underscore the great difficulties unemployed Americans face today in finding affordable health care coverage—only a quarter of people who lost their employer health benefits found another source of insurance, and just 14 percent elected COBRA coverage. But the report also discusses the promise of the health reform law to shore up families' health security.
Several Affordable Care Act provisions are already bringing some relief, like allowing young adults to stay on their parents' plans until age 26. And once the law is fully implemented, nearly all 52 million adults who were uninsured for a time in 2010 will have access to comprehensive health coverage through an expanded Medicaid program, or through tax credits to purchase private health plans fortified by consumer protections.
It has been just over a decade since the Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued To Err Is Human, the landmark report that vividly documented the scope of patient safety problems within the U.S. health care system. A series of Commonwealth Fund case studies released on the fifth anniversary of that report highlighted health care organizations that had taken promising steps toward creating an organizational culture of safety—one of the IOM's key recommendations. In a follow-up to that earlier series, The Commonwealth Fund released a new set of case studies exploring the progress made by four of these early leaders:
In recent studies, Commonwealth Fund–supported researchers explored: