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Medicare Part D at Ten Years: The 2015 Marketplace and Key Trends, 2006-2015

Since 2006, Medicare beneficiaries have had access through Medicare Part D to prescription drug coverage offered by private plans, either stand-alone prescription drug plans (PDPs) or Medicare Advantage prescription drug plans (MA-PD plans). Now in its tenth year, Part D has evolved due to changes in the private plan marketplace and the laws and regulations that govern the program. This report presents findings from an analysis of the Medicare Part D marketplace in 2015 and changes in features of the drug benefit offered by Part D plans since 2006.

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: September 2015

As the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services prepares to finalize a plan to pay physicians for discussing end-of-life treatment options with Medicare patients, this month’s Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that about 8 in 10 of the public favors Medicare and private insurance covering such discussions and about 9 in 10 say doctors should have these discussions with their patients. However, relatively few (17 percent) say they’ve had such discussions with a doctor or other health care provider, while half of the public says they would want to have such a discussion. Overall, opinion of the health care law has remained divided with similar shares reporting favorable views (41 percent) and unfavorable views (45 percent), with opinion starkly divided by party. The Kaiser Health Policy News Index also finds that the 2016 presidential election is the most widely followed news story included in this month’s Index, placing far ahead of health policy news stories.

Public Strongly Favors End-of-Life Conversations Between Doctors and Patients, With About Eight in 10 Saying Medicare and Other Insurers Should Cover These Visits

Six in 10 Oppose ‘Cadillac Plan Tax’ on High-Cost Health Plans Set to Take Effect in 2018, But Cost Savings Argument Can Change Some Opinions Views on the Affordable Care Act Remain Divided: 45% Unfavorable, 41% Favorable As the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services prepares to finalize a plan…

Income and Assets of Medicare Beneficiaries, 2014 – 2030

This issue brief, co-authored by researchers at the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Urban Institute, describes the income, savings, and home equity of current Medicare beneficiaries, considers variations by race, ethnicity and other demographic characteristics, and examines the extent to which income and assets are projected to be higher among the next generation of beneficiaries.

Long-Term Care in the United States: A Timeline

Long-term care (LTC) in the United States has evolved over the course of the last century to better serve the needs of seniors and person with disabilities. This long-term care timeline outlines the major milestones in LTC from the nursing home era, which created an institutional bias in LTC, to the era of home and community based services (HCBS) and integration, and into the era of health reform and beyond.

Dual Eligible Demonstrations: The Beneficiary Perspective

This issue brief provides insights about initial implementation of the financial alignment demonstrations from the perspective of dual eligible beneficiaries in Massachusetts, Ohio, and Virginia, based on 12 individual interviews conducted in early 2015. Profiles of six beneficiaries are presented to illustrate representative program experiences, along with key findings from across all of the interviews.

Survey Finds Many Primary Care Physicians Have Negative Views of the Use of Quality Metrics and Penalties for Unnecessary Hospital Readmissions 

Primary Care Providers View Health IT as Improving Quality, But Tilt Negatively on ACOs Half of the nation’s primary care physicians view the increased use of quality-of-care metrics and financial penalties for unnecessary hospitalizations as potentially troubling for patient care, according to a new survey from The Commonwealth Fund and…

Primary Care Providers’ Views Of Recent Trends In Health Care Delivery And Payment

A new survey from The Commonwealth Fund and The Kaiser Family Foundation asked primary care providers—physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants—about their experiences with and reactions to recent changes in health care delivery and payment. Providers’ views are generally positive regarding the impact of health information technology on quality of care, but they are more divided on the increased use of medical homes and accountable care organizations. Overall, providers are more negative about the increased reliance on quality metrics to assess their performance and about financial penalties.

Medicare and Medicaid at 50 Years: Perspectives of Beneficiaries, Health Care Professionals and Institutions, and Policy Makers

In this article for the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Drew Altman and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader William Frist examine the roles the Medicaid and Medicare play in the health system today from the perspectives of the public and beneficiaries, providers, and policymakers, and discusses the challenges they face in the future. The article is accompanied by an audio interview with Altman and Frist, who is a member of the Foundation’s board of trustees.

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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.