Noteworthy News

Archive for March, 2012


States Mulling Medicaid Budgets

As Medicaid enrollment remains high and tax revenues continue to fall below pre-recession levels in many states, governors and state legislators across the country are weighing various proposals that seek to balance the need to care for their low-income residents with fiscal responsibility and the groundwork they need to lay in preparation for implementing the Affordable Care Act. Because they serve so many Medicaid patients, urban safety-net hospitals have an especially large stake in the budget decisions being made at the state level.  Possible changes in Medicaid eligibility, Medicaid benefits, and Medicaid payments all could hurt urban safety-net hospitals, possibly [&hellip

The Future of Free Health Clinics

Across the country, low-income and uninsured Americans turn to free health clinics for care when they are sick or injured. But what will happen to these clinics when the Affordable Care Act is implemented, millions of people become newly eligible for Medicaid, and millions of others take advantage of new subsidies to purchase health insurance?  Will there still be a need for these clinics?  Will they have enough patients to attract enough funding to survive?  And what about the people who have come to depend on them:  will they turn elsewhere for care when they find that they have a [&hellip

Why All the Fuss About the IPAB?

One of the more controversial aspects of the Affordable Care Act is the Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB.  Created to help hold down rising Medicare costs, the IPAB has come under fire from both the right and the left. And last week, the House voted to abolish it. What role did the Affordable Care Act carve out for the IPAB?  To learn more about this, how the agency is supposed to function, and why it is so controversial, read “The IPAB:  The Center of a Political Clash Over How to Change Medicare” here, on the Kaiser Health News site

The Individual Insurance Mandate

Assuming it survives legal challenges, the individual insurance mandate that is part of the Affordable Care Act will take effect in 2014.  Under this mandate, virtually all Americans are required to have health insurance. But how will this mandate work?  To whom will it apply?  Who will be exempt from the requirement that everyone either purchase health insurance or pay a fine for failing to do so? The Kaiser Family Foundation’s “Health Reform Source” web site considers these questions in a new article titled “The Individual Mandate:  How Sweeping?”  Read that article here

Can Medicare Boost the Use of Primary Care?

Making greater use of primary care, some people believe, would improve the health of patients and eventually reduce health care costs. But would it? Congress bet on this proposition when it included a ten-year increase in Medicare payments for primary care in the Affordable Care Act. Would such an increase produce even greater benefits if was permanent?  That’s the question researchers at the Center for Studying Health System Change and Mathematica Policy Research address in a new report, “Paying More for Primary Care:  Can it Help Bend the Medicare Cost Curve?”  Read an overview of this new Commonwealth Fund report [&hellip

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