Enhancing Value in Medicare

eAlert 1932a289-7165-4547-b67e-210c5f315718

<p>Two new publications from The Commonwealth Fund's Program on Medicare's Future have been posted on the Fund Web site:<br><br><strong>Enhancing Value in Medicare</strong><br>Medicare is undertaking a number of demonstrations aimed at improving the quality and coordination of services provided to its beneficiaries. With pressure mounting to improve quality of care while controlling spending growth, learning as much as we can from the successes and failures of these initiatives will be critical to Medicare's future.<br><br>A new report, <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=26596&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D449512%26%23doc449512">Enhancing Value in Medicare: Demonstrations and Other Initiatives to Improve the Program,</a> prepared for the Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System, examines Medicare's efforts to play a more active role in ensuring that it purchases appropriate, high-quality, and efficient health care for its beneficiaries. The Fund's Stuart Guterman and Michelle Serber provide an overview of Medicare demonstrations, pilots, and other initiatives focused on chronic care management and provider performance. They also illuminate the process for identifying, testing, evaluating, and implementing Medicare policy improvements.<br><br>Guterman and Serber say that more resources and a clearer, more flexible process would enable Medicare to target the right areas for improvement, implement the most promising interventions, and evaluate their results. And a more explicit and transparent mechanism for moving from pilot to policy, they add, would help the government implement new policies to strengthen the program.<br><br><strong>Update on State Pharmacy Programs</strong><br>Another new Fund publication, <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=26597&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D447766%26%23doc447766">State Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs: A Chartbook--Updated and Revised,</a> presents a wealth of data on state drug assistance programs throughout the country. In addition to eligibility requirements, benefit design, and program administration, the chartbook provides details on the most recent annual enrollment, utilization, and program expenditures for these programs. It also serves as a baseline for comparing and contrasting program offerings with the new Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit.<br><br>The updated chartbook was prepared by Jasmine Rizzo, Kimberley Fox, Thomas Trail, and Stephen Crystal of the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy.<br><br>You can also download any of the charts to create your own PowerPoint presentation. Just visit <a href="/chartcart/chartcart.htm">ChartCart,</a> the Fund's new online resource.</p>