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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…

Web Briefing: Early Impacts of the Medicaid Expansion for the Homeless Population

The Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion provides a significant opportunity to increase health coverage and improve access to care for individuals experiencing homelessness, who historically have had high uninsured rates and often have multiple, complex physical and mental health needs. On Monday, December 15, 2014, the Kaiser Family Foundation hosted a…

Key Findings on Medicaid Managed Care: Highlights from the Medicaid Managed Care Market Tracker

This report highlights 10 key findings on the Medicaid managed care market, based on analysis of data included in the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Medicaid Managed Care Market Tracker. The findings provide a partial profile of the Medicaid MCO market nationally and by state. They also illuminate the involvement of large, multi-state health insurance companies in the Medicaid market and the participation of these firms in other markets as well, including the managed long-term services and supports market, the new ACA marketplaces, and the Medicare Advantage market. Finally, these selected highlights serve to illustrate the array of ways the Tracker can be used to understand more about the Medicaid managed care market and its place in the broader market.

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.

Abortion Coverage in Marketplace Plans, 2015

This brief analyzes state policies and insurer coverage decisions affecting the availability of abortion coverage in 2015 insurance plans offered through the Marketplaces. It finds that abortion coverage is unavailable in a total of 31 states, 24 of which have enacted laws that ban or restrict abortion coverage in plans sold through their Marketplaces and 7 of which have no abortion coverage restrictions but also have no Marketplace plans offering it.

Federal and State Standards for “Essential Community Providers” under the ACA and Implications for Women’s Health

Safety net providers such as community health centers and family planning clinics have served a significant role in the provision of primary care and reproductive health care services to low-income and uninsured people, particularly women. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has a provision aimed at assuring that newly-insured individuals, as well as those without coverage, can continue seeing their trusted safety net providers, also called Essential Community Providers (ECPs). This brief reviews the definition of ECPs, examines the federal and state rules that govern the extent to which plans must include these providers in their networks, identifies the variation from state to state, and discusses the particular importance of these rules and providers for women’s access to care.

Quality Care for Less Money: Can Regional Successes Go National?

On February 15, the Kaiser Family Foundation hosted an event featuring a PBS documentary with former Washington Post correspondent T.R. Reid – U.S. Health Care: The Good News – which explores efforts to provide low-cost, quality health care in the U.S. The film looks at variations in health spending across…

Health Care on the Brink of the Fiscal Cliff

The Alliance for Health Reform and the Kaiser Family Foundation present a November 16 briefing to discuss the components of this key policy crossroads with a particular emphasis on the implications for health programs and the health care industry. Automatic cuts would not apply to Medicaid, but Medicare providers would…