- Research Headlines
Americans today are living longer than at any point in the nation’s history. In a recent article in The Washington Post, Ezra Klein notes how this phenomenon and the prevalence of chronic illnesses is both challenging the U.S. health care system and spurring new opportunities for providing better care...
- April 2013Research Headlines
Reducing health care costs dominates current health policy discussions, raising important questions about who is responsible for bending the cost curve. A recent article in The Boston Globe explores the challenges providers face in becoming better stewards of health care resources...
- March 2013Research Headlines
The cost of providing employer-sponsored insurance coverage continues to rise, and new legislation requires employers with at least 50 employees to offer affordable coverage or face a financial penalty. Employers are responding in a variety of ways to rein in their health expenditures while complying with these new regulations. One such option is to contract with payers who offer more fixed reimbursement rates.
- February 2013Research Headlines
Reducing health care costs and addressing the issue of primary care physician shortage are two issues at the forefront of the health policy discussion. Some have suggested that retail health clinics, or walk-in medical clinics located in pharmacies, superstores, and workplaces, could potentially address both of these issues.
- January 2013Research Headlines
One of the principal aims of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is to expand access to affordable insurance coverage. Currently, individuals who receive employer-sponsored health insurance predominantly work for large employers. As such, small employers are a specific target in the ACA to expand access to coverage for their employees.
- December 2012Research Headlines
Smoking bans have become increasingly prevalent in public spaces including workplaces, bars, and restaurants. In a recent article in USA Today, Liz Szabo highlighted findings from several studies that describe the contribution of these policies toward significant health improvements.
- November 2012Research Headlines
A recent article in The Denver Post discusses the CMS Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, which penalizes hospitals with excess readmissions by withholding up to one percent of Medicare payments in the first year. HCFO-funded researcher Vincent Mor, Ph.D., Brown University, offered insight into the challenge of hospital readmissions and potential policy strategies to reduce them in a recent commentary in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
- October 2012Research Headlines
As policymakers plan for major coverage gains under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), there is increasing awareness of the groups that will be left out of health care reform. Among these groups are undocumented immigrants, who are excluded from participation in exchanges, enrollment in the expanded Medicaid program, and other initiatives aimed at helping the uninsured gain coverage.
- September 2012Research Headlines
Individuals and businesses across the country received checks from their health insurance companies this summer under a provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) that targets insurers’ use of premium dollars. Minimum medical loss ratios (MLRs) require insurers to spend a certain percentage of premium revenue on health care claims and quality improvement activities. Under the ACA, insurers that do not meet new MLR standards must rebate the portion of premium dollars that exceeds the target. HCFO-funded research by Jean Abraham, Ph.D. and Pinar Karaca-Mandic, Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota examines the likelihood of individual market insurers meeting the new MLR standard and the implications for coverage.
- July 2012Research Headlines
A recent USA Today article by Susan Jaffe examines hospitals’ growing use of observation stays in lieu of fully admitting Medicare patients. This phenomenon has drawn the attention of journalists and consumer advocates because of the significant consequences of observation stays for beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket costs. In a recently completed HCFO grant, Lan Zhao, Ph.D. with Social and Scientific Systems, has also investigated the frequency and implications of observation stays.