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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.

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) and the recent Supreme Court rulings on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and how these policy changes will impact insurance coverage and access to health care services.

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.

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.

The Impact of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP): What Does the Research Tell Us?

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) was established in 1997 to provide coverage for uninsured children who are low-income but above the threshold for Medicaid eligibility. In 2009, and again in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Congress extended federal funding for CHIP, but funding will expire a little over a year from now. Decisions about CHIP’s future funding will be consequential as more than 8 million low-income children were covered by CHIP at some point during 2012. To help inform the policy debate about CHIP, this brief reviews key data and evidence from the large body of research on the impact of children’s coverage.

Disparities in Health and Health Care: Five Key Questions and Answers

Executive Summary 1. What are Health and Health Care Disparities? Health and health care disparities refer to differences in health and health care between population groups. “Health disparity,” generally refers to a higher burden of illness, injury, disability, or mortality experienced by one population group relative to another group. A…

Health Coverage and Care in the South in 2014 and Beyond

This issue brief provides an overview of health coverage and care in the South today, with a focus on demographics, the impact of the ACA coverage expansions, and ongoing efforts to improve the delivery system and safety net in the South.

Health Coverage and Care in the South: A Chartbook

The South has faced longstanding disparities in health and health care, although significant variation exists between southern states. As a group, compared to those in other regions, Southerners are more likely to be uninsured, less likely to have access to needed health services, and more likely to experience a number of chronic health conditions. This chartbook provides key data on the demographic and economic characteristics of the southern population as well as their health status, health insurance coverage, and access to care today.