Noteworthy News

Archive for October, 2016


Perspective on Medicaid

A new report looks at how Medicaid has affected the health and health care of people throughout the country. The Commonwealth Fund report “Understanding the Value of Medicaid” examines the impact of the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid and notes that the program currently serves 73 million children, seniors, low-income working adults, and people with disabilities. It also examines how Medicaid expansion has enhanced access to care and even given some people medical benefits comparable to those offered by private insurance. Finally, the report notes that safety-net hospitals that serve especially large numbers of low-income patients now serve fewer [&hellip

MedPAC Meets

Last week the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission met in Washington, D.C. During two days of meetings, MedPAC commissioners addressed the following issues: accountable care organizations Part B drug payment policies behavioral health care health care reform quality measures measures of hospital use for long stay nursing facility residents biosimilars in Medicare Part D To see issue briefs on these subjects and the presentations offered during the meetings, go here, to MedPAC’s web site

New Study Questions 30-Day Readmissions as Measure of Hospital Quality

Hospital readmissions within 30 days of discharge may not be a good way of judging the quality of care hospitals provide, a new study suggests. Seven days may be more like it. According to a new study published in the journal Health Affairs, the impact of the quality of care a hospital provides appears to be most evident immediately upon patients’ discharge from the hospital. Further, the study suggests, … most readmissions after the seventh day postdischarge were explained by community- and household-level factors beyond hospitals’ control. The researchers’ conclusion? Shorter intervals of seven or fewer days might improve the [&hellip

Post-Reform “Churn” Less Than Expected

When the Affordable Care Act passed, observers were worried about health insurance “churn”: people moving from one health insurer to another at frequent intervals. But early indications are that this churn, while real and a challenge, is not nearly as great as anticipated. According to a 2015 survey of low-income adults in three states, churning is taking place less often than expected as people move from uninsured to privately insured to Medicaid-insured and then back again. The leading causes of churn so far have been people obtaining insurance, changing jobs, losing Medicaid eligibility or marketplace subsidies, and inability to continue [&hellip

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