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What Do We Know About Health Care Access and Quality in Medicare Advantage Versus the Traditional Medicare Program?

As the number of Medicare Advantage enrollees continues to climb, there is growing interest in understanding how the care provided to Medicare beneficiaries in Medicare Advantage plans differs from the care received by beneficiaries in traditional Medicare. This literature review of more than 40 studies synthesizes the evidence to date comparing access and quality for beneficiaries in Medicare Advantage plans and traditional Medicare.

How Do Quality and Access Compare In Medicare Advantage Versus Traditional Medicare?

Today a record three in 10 Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in Medicare Advantage health plans, mainly HMOs and PPOs, which are paid by the government to provide Medicare benefits to their enrollees. Given the projected rise in Medicare Advantage enrollment, an important question for both consumers and policymakers is how…

Early Impacts of the Medicaid Expansion for the Homeless Population

This analysis provides an early look at the impact of the expansion for homeless providers and the patients they serve. It is based on focus groups conducted with administrators, providers, and enrollment workers at four sites serving homeless individuals in states that have expanded Medicaid (Albuquerque, NM; Baltimore, MD; Chicago, IL; and Portland, OR) and one site in a state that has not expanded (Jacksonville, FL), as well as administrative data collected from the sites.

The Role of Medicare and the Indian Health Service for American Indians and Alaska Natives: Health, Access and Coverage

This report examines the role of both Medicare and the Indian Health Service (IHS) in providing access to health care for about 650,000 American Indians and Alaska Natives who are age 65 and older or who have permanent disabilities. While Medicare provides important health care coverage for most in this group, its relatively high cost-sharing and gaps in benefits can be problematic for American Indians and Alaska Native Medicare beneficiaries who do not have additional supplemental coverage or who cannot access IHS providers.

Explaining Armstrong v. Exceptional Child Center: The Supreme Court Considers Private Enforcement of the Medicaid Act

On January 20, 2015, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Armstrong v. Exceptional Child Center, a case that raises the issue of whether Medicaid providers can challenge a state law in federal court on the basis that it violates the federal Medicaid Act and therefore is preempted by the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution. This issue brief examines the major questions raised by the Armstrong case, explains the parties’ legal arguments, and considers potential effects of a U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Tapping Nurse Practitioners to Meet Rising Demand for Primary Care

More than 58 million Americans, or nearly 1 in 5, live in primary care shortage areas, where the supply of primary care physicians is not sufficient to meet the needs of the population. Particularly as the demand for primary care increases due to population growth, aging, and expanded insurance coverage, strategies to mitigate already sharp strains on primary care capacity are needed. This brief focuses on the opportunity to more fully tap the potential of nurse practitioners to increase access to primary care.

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.

Women and Health Care in the Early Years of the ACA: Key Findings from the 2013 Kaiser Women’s Health Survey

This report addresses a wide range of topics that are at the heart of women’s health care, as well as changes that women may experience as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The findings in the report, based off a nationally representative survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, highlight differences in health care for uninsured, low-income, and minority women. Other focus areas include: coverage, access, and affordability; connections to health providers; access and utilization of preventive services; and reproductive and sexual health services for women of reproductive age, such as contraception and family planning services and screenings for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).