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The Health Workforce Dream Team: Who Will Provide the Care?

Many providers and policymakers envision team-based care as an important way to improve quality and maximize resources. The “dream team” includes nurses and many other non-physician providers. But how will we ensure enough health care workers for a growing, aging population with ever-increasing chronic care needs? This December 2 briefing,…

Coping with Fragmented Payment in the Real World

The Alliance for Health Reform and The Commonwealth Fund sponsored this briefing which focused on three communities that have reformed and harmonized health care payments across payers to improve care: a New York health center that serves a low income population; a Colorado community that pools money from public and…

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…

Health Care Costs in the U.S.: The Role of Prices and Volume

The Alliance for Health Reform and several cosponsors held the first 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 and others in the series take an in-depth look at a select few of…

A Primer on Dually Eligible Beneficiaries

The nine million dually eligible beneficiaries are generally poorer and sicker than other Medicare beneficiaries, tend to use more health care services, and thus account for a disproportionate share of Medicare and Medicaid spending. Because they often have complex medical and long-term care needs, and must navigate both Medicaid and…

Program Integrity: Preventing Health Care Fraud and Abuse

Headlines regularly call attention to pockets of fraudulent activity in the health care arena – scams that amount to millions and potentially billions of dollars. The stories typically focus on catching the crooks but not so much on efforts to prevent fraud, waste and abuse in health care programs. Both…

The Alphabet Soup of Care Delivery Transformation

Both the private and public sectors are testing various care delivery transformation models to improve quality, reduce morbidity and mortality, and contain the costs of treatment. The Alliance for Health Reform and WellPoint, Inc. hosted a September 10 briefing to discuss delivery system innovations, Medicare care coordination, and low-spending health…

Filling the Gaps: Dental Care, Coverage and Access

While the Affordable Care Act is expected to expand public and private coverage for children when it takes effect in 2014, significant gaps will remain, especially for low-income adults age 21 and older. This June 19, 2012, a public forum at the Foundation’s Washington, D.C. offices examined the gaps and…

Transparency and Complexity

This fall a new rule takes effect requiring all private health plans to offer a uniform, simple to read, summary of benefits and coverage (SBC).  The SBC will provide consumers with standardized information about how plans cover essential health benefits and what coverage limits and cost sharing applies. The SBC…

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…