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 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.
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.
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.
Medicaid Expansion, Health Coverage, and Spending: An Update for the 21 States That Have Not Expanded Eligibility
Ever since the Supreme Court ruled in June 2012 that states could effectively choose whether or not to accept the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid eligibility, that choice has been one of the most prominent and often one of the most contentious issues for states. In this report, we provide new projections of the impact of Medicaid expansion on health coverage, Medicaid enrollment, and costs in states that have not expanded Medicaid.
This brief reviews the role of Medicaid in financing and enabling access to family planning services for low-income women; discusses how states have expanded access to these services with Medicaid; and highlights future programmatic challenges in the context of the health care delivery and coverage reforms resulting from the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Demonstrations to Improve the Coordination of Medicare and Medicaid for Dually Eligible Beneficiaries: What Prior Experience Did Health Plans and States Have with Capitated Arrangements?
This report examines the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) financial alignment demonstration for beneficiaries dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, with a focus on the extent to which participating states and health plans have prior experience with capitated managed care arrangements under Medicare or Medicaid, and specifically for this population. Under these capitated financial alignment demonstrations, health plans contract with the state and CMS (a three-way contract) to provide both Medicare and Medicaid benefits to dually eligible beneficiaries. These demonstrations aim to improve the quality of care and the coordination of benefits for people dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. The report finds considerable variation in the experience of states and health plans participating in these demonstrations, and discusses the potential implications for beneficiaries and plan oversight.
In states that do not implement the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), many adults will fall into a “coverage gap” of earning too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to qualify for Marketplace premium tax credits. Nationwide, nearly four million poor uninsured adults are in this situation.This brief describes the population in the coverage gap and discusses the implications of them being left out of ACA coverage expansions.
In his latest column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman analyzes whether public or private health insurance does a better job of controlling costs. All previous columns by Drew Altman are available online.
In this column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman analyzes whether public or private health insurance does a better job of controlling costs.