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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Reading the Stars: Nursing Home Quality Star Ratings, Nationally and by State

This issue brief presents national and state-level analysis of nursing homes based on the Five-Star Quality Rating System, recently updated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to help consumers compare nursing homes when selecting one for themselves or their family members. The issue brief finds that more than one-third (36%) of the nation’s 15,500 nursing homes certified by Medicare or Medicaid received relatively low ratings of 1 or 2 stars (out of a possible 5 stars). In 11 states, at least 40 percent of nursing homes in the state have 1- or 2-star ratings. In 23 states, however, at least half of the nursing homes have 4- or 5- star ratings. This issue brief discusses relevant policy considerations regarding nursing home quality—a serious issue in light of the vulnerability of the nursing home population and recent reports of problems arising from inadequate staffing, fire safety hazards, and substandard care.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Early Insights from One Care: Massachusetts’ Demonstration to Integrate Care and Align Financing for Dual Eligible Beneficiaries

Massachusetts is among the early states to launch a 3-year capitated financial alignment demonstration to integrate payments and care for beneficiaries who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. This case study describes the early implementation of the demonstration based on a diverse group of stakeholder interviews.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Behind the Split Over Linking Medicaid Coverage to Work Requirements

In this column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman analyzes the politics and why the details matter when red states consider linking Medicaid expansion coverage and work requirements.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Medicaid at 50: Marking a Milestone for Women’s Health

In this May post for the journal Women’s Health Issues, Alina Salganicoff, Usha Ranji and Laurie Sobel explore Medicaid’s role in providing health coverage for women over the past 50 years and outline key issues going forward. The post is now available here.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Medicaid and Long-Term Services and Supports: A Primer

This primer provides an overview of the delivery and financing of institutional and community-based long-term services and supports in the United States, highlighting Medicaid’s key role in providing care, quality measurement and evaluation, and recent national reform efforts.

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facesofmedicaid-feature-image

Faces of Medicaid

The “Faces of Medicaid” video series highlights the range of experience and diverse roles that Medicaid plays in the lives of Americans across the U.S. These stories of individuals on Medicaid go beyond statistics and provide insight into the range of personal experiences with the program.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Medicaid at 50: A Look Back – And Ahead

Medicaid, the main health insurance program for low-income people and the single largest source of public coverage in the U.S., turns 50 this year. In that time, it has grown to cover nearly 70 million Americans and become a key source of financing for safety net hospitals and health centers,…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Medicaid at 50

The Medicaid program, signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 30, 1965, will reach its 50th anniversary this year, a historic milestone. This report reflects on Medicaid’s accomplishments and challenges and considers the issues on the horizon that will influence the course of this major health coverage and financing program moving forward.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

How Are Hospitals Faring Under the Affordable Care Act? Early Experiences from Ascension Health

Expanded health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is having a major impact on many of the nation’s hospitals through increases in the demand for care, increased patient revenues, and lower uncompensated care costs for the uninsured. This report examines the early experiences with the ACA by Ascension Health, the delivery subsidiary of the nation’s largest not-for-profit health system, Ascension. It finds that, overall, Ascension hospitals in Medicaid expansion states saw increased Medicaid discharges, increased Medicaid revenue, and decreased cost of care for the poor, while hospitals in non-expansion states saw a very small increase in Medicaid discharges, a decline in Medicaid revenue, and growth in cost of care to the poor.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Evolving Picture of Nine Safety-Net Hospitals: Implications of the ACA and Other Strategies

Safety-net hospitals are an integral part of the U.S. health care landscape, providing care to some of the nation’s most medically vulnerable populations, including Medicaid enrollees and the uninsured. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the U.S. health care system is rapidly changing, and safety-net hospitals need to make major adjustments to survive in the post-reform environment. This brief draws on interviews with executives at nine safety-net hospital systems and examines how their hospitals have fared since major coverage provisions of the ACA came into effect in January 2014. The brief also examines new and ongoing strategies that the hospitals are adopting in the face of a quickly changing health care environment. While acknowledging the importance of the ACA, executives at each system in the study noted that other non-ACA related factors have also shaped how their hospitals fared over the last year. The hospitals in the study were: Cook County Health and Hospital System (CCHHS); Denver Health (Denver Health); Harris Health System (Harris Health); New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC); Parkland Health and Hospital System (Parkland); Santa Clara Valley Health and Hospital System (SCVHHS); San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH); University Medical Center of Southern Nevada (UMC), and Virginia Commonwealth University Health System (VCU). These hospitals participated in two earlier related studies that examined how the systems were preparing for health care reform.

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