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Implications Of A Federal Block Grant Program For Medicaid

This issue brief examines the broad implications of converting Medicaid to block grant financing, one of several ideas that have been put forth to help reduce the federal deficit. The paper, which does not analyze any specific proposal, notes that switching to block grant financing would fundamentally alter the Medicaid…

Proposed Changes to Medicare in the “Path to Prosperity”: Overview and Key Questions

This brief examines key Medicare provisions included in “The Path to Prosperity: Restoring America’s Promise,” a long-term budget proposal released by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan on April 5, 2011, which outlines a strategy for reducing federal spending and reducing the national debt over time. The Medicare provisions are among…

The Budget Control Act of 2011: Implications for Medicare

Beginning January 2013, Medicare spending will be subject to automatic, across-the-board reductions, known as “sequestration,” which is slated to reduce Medicare payments to plans and providers by up to 2 percent. This sequestration results from provisions in the Budget Control Act of 2011, which raised the debt ceiling and will…

Explaining Health Care Reform: How Do Health Care Costs Vary By Region?

Although regional variations in health spending have been studied for decades, there is renewed focus on this issue because of the role of health care costs in health care reform and the potential source of funds if addressing cost variations can yield savings. This explainer examines what is known about…

Special Needs Plans: Availability and Enrollment

Special Needs Plans are a form of Medicare Advantage plan authorized to provide a managed care option for beneficiaries with significant or relatively specialized care needs, including Medicare beneficiaries who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, beneficiaries living in nursing homes or other institutions, and beneficiaries with severe chronic…

A Primer on Medicare Financing

As Congress and the Administration increasingly focus on the nation’s budget deficit, many policy experts and several bipartisan deficit reduction panels have proposed significant changes to Medicare to reduce federal spending and address rising health care costs. This primer provides an overview of Medicare spending trends, how the program is…

Explaining Health Care Reform: What is Comparative Effectiveness Research?

The brief examines current funding for comparative effectiveness research, the provisions included in the current health reform legislation, and issues related to which treatments that might be studied, whether and how to weigh costs of care, and how such findings will be used and shared with health-care practitioners and the…

Pulling it Together: An Actuarial Rorschach Test

Drew Altman, Larry Levitt, Gary Claxton My colleagues have worked on this column with me and I invited them to join me as authors. As with pretty much every other discussion of health care going back to the days of Roosevelt, the great reform debate of 2009 (and now 2010)…

Financial Incentives in the Long-Term Care Context: A First Look at Relevant Information

Financial Incentives in the Long-Term Care Context: A First Look at Relevant Information This report reviews Medicare’s payment policies as they may affect medical care for residents in long-term care environments, including a look at the financial incentives that could play a role in hospital and skilled nursing facility admissions.…

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.