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Medicare Patients’ Access to Physicians: A Synthesis of the Evidence

Congressional debates about the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) raise questions about whether doctors are willing to see Medicare patients. This issue brief examines multiple data sources to assess beneficiaries’ access to physicians, particularly vulnerable beneficiaries with greater health needs and other disadvantages. It examines the share of doctors who are participating physicians as well as those who have opted-out of the Medicare program to privately contract with Medicare patients. It includes State analyses of rates of physicians who are accepting new Medicare patients as well as patients with private health insurance and Medicaid.

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Health and Access to Care and Coverage for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Individuals in the U.S.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals often face challenges and barriers to accessing needed health services and, as a result, can experience worse health outcomes. Recent policy changes have the potential to impact how LGBT individuals access and receive health care. This issue brief examines population characteristics of the LGBT community including demographics, health challenges such as chronic conditions, HIV/AIDS epidemic and STIs, mental health and substance use, sexual and physical violence, adolescent and young adult health, and access to care and insurance coverage. Additionally, this brief examines the impacts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the recent Supreme Court rulings on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and other policy changes related to same-sex marriage on insurance coverage and access to health care services.

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Figure 1: Adult Cell Phone Ownership and Use, May 2013

Profiles of Medicaid Outreach and Enrollment Strategies: Using Text Messaging to Reach and Enroll Uninsured Individuals into Medicaid and CHIP

This brief provides an overview of mobile technology use today, with a focus on the low-income population and people of color, and discusses how one text messaging initiative, text4baby, is helping to connect eligible pregnant women and their families to health coverage.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Health Care Access and Coverage for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Community in the United States: Opportunities and Challenges in a New Era

This Policy Insight looks at the challenges and questions surrounding recent policy changes that are expected to increase health insurance coverage and access to care for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals and their families, including the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Supreme Court’s DOMA decision.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Health Affairs Blog: The ACA And People With HIV: The ACA’s Impact And The Implications Of State Choices

A Health Affairs blog post by Jennifer Kates and Rachel Garfield examines the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on people with HIV/AIDS.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

The Affordable Care Act and Insurance Coverage in Rural Areas

Rural populations face disparities compared to metropolitan populations in health care. While rural individuals were not more likely to be uninsured than metropolitan counterparts pre-Affordable Care Act, they were poorer and less likely to have private insurance. With coverage changes in the ACA involving an expansion of Medicaid for poor and near-poor populations, decisions by states with large rural populations may cause rural residents to have disparate access to coverage, which may exacerbate cost and access barriers to health care.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Advancing Opportunities, Assessing Challenges: Key Themes from a Roundtable Discussion of Health Care and Health Equity in the South

This brief summarizes the primary themes expressed by participants of a roundtable discussion of current and future opportunities and challenges for advancing health care and health equity in the South organized by Kaiser Family Foundation’s Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured and the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

The Twin Goals of Health Insurance

Drew Altman, in The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, examines a study finding Massachusetts’ health reform saved lives in the context of health insurance’s twin goal: better access to improve health and economic security.

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