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What Drives Spending and Utilization on Medicaid Drug Benefits in States?

With the approval of new specialty drugs, such as the Hepatitis C treatments Sovaldi and Harvoni, states are mindful that the cost the Medicaid prescription drug benefit could increase. To achieve savings, and improve management and health outcomes, it is important to understand which drugs are most frequently prescribed and which drive spending. Using state drug utilization data provided through the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program, as well as an industry drug database, this issue brief examines trends in prescriptions and spending before rebates, and places findings in the context of policy discussion.

Kaiser Health Policy Tracking Poll: December 2014

With many of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) major provisions taking effect this past year, the December Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that many Americans are aware of the main parts of the law and, with the exception of the individual mandate, at least 6 in 10 feel favorably towards them. The poll finds the vast majority of the uninsured don’t know the deadline to enroll, most expect to get health insurance in the next few months, and nearly two-thirds say they don’t think they’ll have to pay a fine, or don’t know if they will, for not having coverage this year.

New Study Provides Insight and Analysis to Help Explain the Medicare Spending Slowdown

Medicare, the federal health program that provides health care and coverage to 54 million seniors and younger adults with permanent disabilities, is in the midst of an unprecedented slowdown in spending growth.  A new issue brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation, How Much of the Medicare Spending Slowdown Can be…

How Much of the Medicare Spending Slowdown Can be Explained? Insights and Analysis from 2014

This paper identifies and quantifies, to the extent possible, the factors that explain the gap between actual Medicare spending in 2014 and CBO’s 2009 projections of what Medicare spending would be this year. The study synthesizes information from a variety of sources and presents new analysis to assess the extent to which lower-than-projected Medicare spending in 2014 can be explained by deliberate policy and program changes, unexpected trends, and other factors.

Visualizing Health Policy: Medicare Spending: A Look at Present, Short-Term and Long-Term Trends

This Visualizing Health Policy infographic with the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) provides an overview of Medicare spending trends in the present, short term and long term. In the long term, Medicare spending as a share of the economy is projected to grow, and Medicare is projected to lack sufficient funds to pay all hospital bills beginning in 2030.

Visualizing Health Policy: Medicare Spending: A Look at Present, Short-Term and Long-Term Trends

This Visualizing Health Policy infographic provides an overview of Medicare spending, including information on current federal spending relative to other government programs (e.g., Social Security) and percent-share of spending across Medicare services, as well as projected Medicare spending over the next decade and beyond. Recent federal spending on Medicare is…

Assessing the Performance of the U.S. Health System

Health spending growth has consistently outpaced U.S. economic growth and is higher than medical spending in other wealthy countries. Despite spending more, the United States doesn’t have better health outcome in terms of life expectancy, mortality rates and other measures. This brief provides an overview of trends in health costs and the performance of the U.S. health system, including comparisons to countries from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The brief charts growth in the nation’s per capita health spending along with the recent slowdown, touching on the roles of expanded Medicaid eligibility, increases in Medicare beneficiaries and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Additionally, it discusses the health system’s effectiveness and capacity to provide services, including the accessibility and affordability of care.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Headquarters: 2400 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270

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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.