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The Health of Safety-Net Hospitals: How are They Faring? What’s the Outlook?

The Alliance for Health Reform and The Commonwealth Fund discusses the critical role of safety-net hospitals in providing care to vulnerable populations. Panelists will explore such questions as: Who does the safety-net system currently serve and how will this patient mix change as the health reform law plays out? How…

The Rising Cost of Living Longer: Analysis of Medicare Spending by Age for Beneficiaries in Traditional Medicare

This analysis provides a detailed look at per person Medicare spending on the nearly 30 million beneficiaries over age 65 who are enrolled in the traditional Medicare program. Among the key findings of the report is that per person spending rises with age, peaking at age 96. But this rise is not entirely explained by Medicare spending on end of life care, which declines with age. What Medicare spends money on also changes as beneficiaries age. Hospital care is the largest component of Medicare spending throughout the age curve, up to age 100, but there is less spending on physician services and more on home health, skilled nursing and hospice care as beneficiaries age.

Strategies in 4 Safety-Net Hospitals to Adapt to the ACA

This brief examines four safety-net hospitals to learn how they were preparing for the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), in order to gain additional insight into the strategies being used and challenges being faced among safety-net hospitals across the country.

Medicare Advantage Hospital Networks: How Much Do They Vary?

This report takes an in-depth look at Medicare Advantage plans’ hospital networks. The analysis draws upon data from 409 Medicare Advantage plans serving beneficiaries in 20 diverse counties that together accounted for about one in seven (14%) Medicare Advantage enrollees nationwide in 2015. The report examines the size and composition of plans’ hospital networks, the variation across counties, the inclusion of Academic Medical Centers and NCI-Designated Cancer Centers, and the relationship between network size and other plan features, including premiums, quality star ratings, per capita Medicare spending, parent organization, and plan tax status.

States and Medicaid Provider Taxes or Fees

This is an update on the use of Medicaid provider taxes and fees. It also includes information on which states would be affected by changing the safe harbor threshold from 6% to 5.5%.

Medicare Spending Cuts and Hospital Productivity Gains

In this column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman and guest co-author Dana Goldman examine hospital productivity gains, and what they may mean for hospitals’ ability to absorb spending reductions.

Medicare Spending Cuts and Hospital Productivity Gains

In his latest column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman and guest co-author Dana Goldman examine hospital productivity gains, and what they may mean for hospitals’ ability to absorb spending reductions. All previous columns by Drew Altman are available online.

New Analysis Shows States with Medicaid Expansion Experienced Declines in Uninsured Hospital Discharges

Expanded health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is having a major impact on hospital payer mix across the country. Similar to other reports recently released, new data examining hospital discharges in 16 states with data through the second quarter in 2014 show increases in Medicaid and declines in uninsured or self-pay discharges in states that implemented the Medicaid expansion. These trends hold true for all hospital discharges as well as for specific services such as mental health or asthma. This information adds to a growing body of evidence indicating that coverage expansions are affecting providers and may lead to decreases in uncompensated care for the uninsured.

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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.