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Behavioral Health: Can Primary Care Help Meet the Growing Need?

The health reform law has specific provisions covering mental health and substance use conditions, as well as general provisions to benefit those in need of behavioral health services. While addressing unmet needs, the reform law provisions raise new challenges. Given their budgetary constraints, will states be able to expand capacity…

Health Care Costs: The Role of Technology and Chronic Conditions

The Alliance for Health Reform and co-sponsors presented the second event in a three-part series of discussions on costs, the factors driving them up, and what (if anything) can be done about them. This briefing takes an in-depth look at two of the most often cited cost drivers – technology…

Integrating Care for Dual Eligibles: What Do Consumers Want?

Many deficit reduction plans have recognized the need to improve care for the 9 million beneficiaries dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. How do Medicaid and Medicare coordinate payment and care for people covered by both programs? Are Health and Human Services initiatives encouraging innovations to integrate care for dual…

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…

Innovations in Primary Care: What’s in the ACA?

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act aims to move the health care system away from an episodic, fee-for-service approach and towards a coordinated, preventive model of care delivery. Exactly how does the law encourage innovations in primary care? What roles will states and purchasers of care play in this…

Shared Medical Decision Making: We’re in This Together

In recent years, awareness of the patient’s important role in managing his or her own care has been steadily growing—fed not only by such trends as the proliferation of health information on the internet and direct-to-consumer advertising, but also by the emerging science of patient-centered decision making. One way to…

Investing in Health IT: What the U.S. and Other Countries Are Learning

Recent legislation, including the stimulus package and the new health reform law, invests substantial funds in health information technology which can help prevent medical errors and improve the quality and value of care. However, questions have been raised about the cost of implementation and personal privacy considerations. This briefing addressed…

Getting Connected: Can the ACA Improve Access to Health Care in Rural Communities?

Residents of rural communities face unique health care challenges, including fewer health care providers, higher rates of chronic disease, and lower adoption rates of health information technology. This October 13 briefing, cosponsored by the Alliance for Health Reform and the United Health Foundation, looked at the many provisions in the…