The Commonwealth Fund Connection

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

Affordable Care Act Sets Nation on Right Course for Health Reform, Experts Say

More than nine of 10 leaders in health and health care policy believe the Affordable Care Act sets the right course for health reform, according to a new survey. And despite wide differences of opinion in Congress, and varied levels of support among the general public, nearly seven of 10 (68%) experts favor implementing the law with little or no change, according to the latest Commonwealth Fund/Modern Healthcare Health Care Opinion Leaders Survey, which asked respondents their views about priorities for the 112th Congress.

You can also read blog posts on congressional health policy priorities by David M. Cutler, the Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics at Harvard University, and Gail Wilensky, senior fellow at Project HOPE.

Success Factors in Five High-Quality, Low-Cost Health Plans
For this Commonwealth Fund report, researchers examined how health plans with delivery systems that include a significant network of independent physicians achieve high performance while controlling costs. The study found that factors that contribute to high-performance include: building a physician–plan partnership, establishing the plan as a resource for physician practices, providing physician quality and cost data on performance, and emphasizing local area orientation.
Quality Matters: Employers' Efforts to Improve Value of Their Health Care Dollars
The February/March issue of Quality Matters examines what employers are doing beyond measurement and disease management to improve the value they receive for their health care dollars. It includes a case study of an Ohio collaborative of payers and providers that are working to reduce variation in the cost and quality of care.
Briefing: Innovation and Health Care Delivery
Join a Health Affairs briefing on March 8 that will focus on the release of the Commonwealth Fund–supported March 2011 issue, "Profiles of Innovation in Health Care Delivery." Anne-Marie J. Audet, M.D., M.P.H., Commonwealth Fund Vice President, Health System Quality and Efficiency, will discuss the issue's "innovation profiles" of 15 health systems, health plans, and other organizations that are restructuring care delivery. Register here.
Webinar: Preparing for the Medicaid Primary Care Rate Increase
The Affordable Care Act requires states in 2013 and 2014 to pay Medicaid primary care providers at parity with Medicare rates. Join a March 30 Center for Health System Change (CHCS) webinar that will discuss how Medicaid agencies and health plans can maximize the rate increase to sustain and expand the number of Medicaid primary care providers, encourage greater use of quality and access measurement, and build more advanced models of primary care. The webinar draws on a Commonwealth Fund–supported issue brief on the CHCS Web site. Register here.
Follow WhyNotTheBest.org on Twitter
Follow @whynothebest on Twitter for updates from the Commonwealth Fund's quality improvement site, WhyNotTheBest.org, which tracks U.S. hospital performance on measures of recommended care, patient experiences, bloodstream infections and other patient safety issues, readmissions, and more. Also find case studies of top performers.
Subscribe to New Directions in Health Care: The Commonwealth Fund Podcast
Subscribe to the RSS feed for The Commonwealth Fund Podcast to get updates on new episodes. Each podcast brings the work of our programs to life though audio interviews with the health care professionals, administrators, policymakers, advocates, and patients on the frontlines of health care.