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50 Million Uninsured: The Faces Behind the Headlines

Almost 50 million Americans lacked health insurance in 2010 — about a million more than in 2009. Who are the uninsured? Why do so many Americans lack coverage? What are the trends in coverage among different segments of the population? What do these trends mean for the health care system…

Inside Deficit Reduction: What It Means for Medicare

Proposals to generate Medicare savings abound, from the various commissions recommending change, members of Congress and others. Which proposals will, or should receive serious considerations by the Congressional super committee in its quest to find $1.2 trillion or more in savings by its November 23 deadline? What impact would these…

Inside Deficit Reduction: What it Means for Health Care

After much heated debate on the U.S. debt limit, the Budget Control Act of 2011 was passed on August 2, 2011, containing more than $900 billion in federal spending reductions over 10 years. The law also established the 12-person “super committee” charged with finding more than $1 trillion in additional…

Managing Costs and Improving Care: Team-based Care of the Chronically Ill

Treating those with multiple chronic conditions, including the elderly and disabled populations, accounts for 30 percent of total U.S. health care spending. Half of this amount is spent by Medicare and Medicaid on behalf of beneficiaries eligible for both programs. This briefing, cosponsored by the Alliance for Health Reform and…

Preventing Chronic Disease: The New Public Health

There is a groundswell of activity in local communities to support healthier lifestyles and help people make long-lasting and sustainable changes that can reduce their risk for chronic diseases. A number of provisions in the health reform law are aimed directly at improving population health by addressing conditions where Americans…

Accountable Care Organizations: A New Paradigm for Health Care Delivery?

The health reform law of 2010 authorizes Medicare, beginning next year, to contract with accountable care organizations (ACOs) in a Medicare Shared Savings Program. ACOs provide financial incentives to improve the coordination and quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries, while reducing costs. But providers have raised red flags, saying the…

Public Reporting of Quality Outcomes: What’s the Best Path Forward?

The Affordable Care Act aims to promote higher quality care in part by rewarding – and eventually requiring – the reporting of certain quality measures. Previous efforts suggest that public reporting can add significant value. Yet there are concerns about the best way to measure outcomes and quality, the possible…