- Does Location Determine Medical Practice Patterns? February 2014
A large body of research suggests that geographic variation accounts for the differences in Medicare spending. In this editorial, Reschovsky reviews findings from his HCFO-funded study and other work to demonstrate that while there are clear variations in clinical practice across geographic areas, the degree of variation and the importance of geography have been overstated.
Medicaid comprises a significant portion of state budgets and is expected to grow as states expand coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Given this projected growth, understanding Medicaid’s financing structure, its burden on taxpayers, and any unintended consequences of the federal matching grant is particularly important.
In the past year, national news stories have focused a lot of attention to the prices charged for health, underscoring how much prices for a given health care service can vary, sometimes within a given health care setting, and how difficult it can be to determine actual prices paid...
The ABIM Foundation’s Choosing Wisely campaign launched in 2011, and it spurred conversations between physicians and patients about the appropriateness of select tests and treatments, providing an opportunity to reduce low-value care. Drawing on HCFO-funded work, this commentary explores the practical utility of the Choosing Wisely recommendations in identifying and reducing waste in the U.S. health care system.
- Five Features Of Value-Based Insurance Design Plans Were Associated With Higher Rates Of Medication Adherence February 2014
Value-based insurance design (VBID) plans selectively lower cost sharing to increase medication adherence. In this study, HCFO grantees evaluated seventy-six plans introduced by a large pharmacy benefit manager and highlight plan features associated with greater medication adherence.
- Value-Based Insurance Design Program in North Carolina Increased Medication Adherence But Was Not Cost Neutral February 2014
Value-based insurance design (VBID) has shown promise for improving medication adherence by lowering or eliminating patients’ payments for some medications. In this study, HCFO grantees use the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina’s VBID program to examine if eliminating copayments for generic medications and reducing copays for brand-name medications will increase medication adherence.
With its Choosing Wisely campaign, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation boldly invited professional societies to own their role as “stewards of finite health care resources.” In this perspective, HCFO grantees review the aims of the Choosing Wisely campaign and describe the challenges of identifying low-value services with the potential for significant cost-savings.
- Bridging Research and Policy to Advance Medicare’s Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program January 2014
This report summarizes the discussion from a November 2013 meeting where health care practitioners, administrators, clinical and health services researchers, and policy experts from private sector and government agencies and offices discussed the implementation of Medicare's Hospital Readmission Reduction Program and developed actionable recommendations for refining the program going forward.
- Insuring Parents and Children Under Health Reform: Implications for Family Costs and Coverage January 2014
Beginning in 2014, many low- to middle-income families are gaining health care coverage with help from provisions in the Affordable Care Act. These include the availability of subsidized private coverage in the state and federal marketplaces, as well as the expansion of the Medicaid program in more than two dozen states...
- Who Really Pays for Medicaid: Intended and Unintended Consequences of the Matching Grant January 2014
The goal of the Medicaid intergovernmental matching grant is to stimulate state spending while achieving some level of beneficiary and taxpayer equity. This study estimates federal and state Medicaid tax burdens per family and discusses intended and unintended consequences of the matching grant.