Allowing Americans aged 50 to 64 to buy into Medicare would lower health care premiums for the group. But it would also drive up costs for younger people who buy health insurance on Affordable Care Act exchanges.
Medicare appears to be overpaying surgeons for many medical procedures. Federal officials should incorporate ways to more objectively measure the amount of postoperative care surgeons provide to patients.
Research based primarily on reports from an individual's surviving relatives often suggests that end-of-life care experiences are particularly poor. However, this examination of reports from patients found that those who died within a year of being surveyed reported slightly better experiences than other enrollees.
For Arkansas, the Affordable Care Act will result in an increase in GDP of around $550 million and the creation of about 6,200 jobs. The new law will also increase health insurance coverage by 400,000 newly insured individuals.
An investigation of the impacts of Medicare payment reform on post-acute providers found that payment reforms reducing average and marginal payments reduced entries and increased exits from the market, which may affect market structure, access to care, quality and cost of care, and patient outcomes.
Compared to other Medicare beneficiaries, whites have better access to care, assuming no major health conditions. Disparities in receiving timely care and immunizations are smaller among those with greater disease burden. Outreach to minorities with low utilization and few or no major health conditions could help.
Medicare and private plans encourage individuals to use hospitals that are designated as centers of excellence. Evidence shows that the costs of knee and hip replacements in centers of excellence do not differ from other hospitals, but patients who had hip replacements in such centers had lower complication rates.
A large number of chronic conditions, including cancer, are associated uniquely with decrements in health utility. The cumulative effects of comorbid conditions have substantial impact on daily functioning and well-being of Medicare beneficiaries.
Alignment with best P4P practices varies across Medicare programs; the program for Medicare Advantage aligns most strongly. It is unclear which P4P design elements are critical for quality improvement. Unintended consequences of design features are poorly understood.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)/Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) requested that RAND assist their HCIA Awardees in developing health information technology (HIT) adoption measures.
Racial/ethnic minorities report more difficulties in getting drugs and needed information through Medicare's Part D program. However, quality improvement efforts may reduce these disparities in beneficiary experience with prescription drug coverage.
Regardless of which candidate wins in November, and regardless of whether “Obamacare” is repealed, amended, or defended by the next Congress, the next president will have to contend with the spiraling cost of health care in the United States—a problem that is growing more acute with each passing year, writes Arthur Kellermann.
Programs that offer 30 days' worth of selected generic drugs for $4 have become important options for seniors to obtain affordable medications, but little is known about access to these programs and the characteristics of those who use them.