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Medicare Patients’ Access to Physicians: A Synthesis of the Evidence

Congressional debates about the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) raise questions about whether doctors are willing to see Medicare patients. This issue brief examines multiple data sources to assess beneficiaries’ access to physicians, particularly vulnerable beneficiaries with greater health needs and other disadvantages. It examines the share of doctors who are participating physicians as well as those who have opted-out of the Medicare program to privately contract with Medicare patients. It includes State analyses of rates of physicians who are accepting new Medicare patients as well as patients with private health insurance and Medicaid.

Webinar for Journalists: A Year-End Update on the ACA Rollout & Looking Ahead to 2014

Two and an half months into the open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act, where does the rollout of the law stand with marketplace coverage set to begin on January 1, 2014? Featuring two Kaiser Family Foundation experts–Larry Levitt, Co-Director of the Foundation’s Program for the Study of Health Reform and Private Insurance & Senior Vice President, and Jennifer Tolbert, State Health Policy Director–the webinar touched on some of the major questions as people start using ACA coverage and the end of the open enrollment period on March 31. Most of the hour was devoted to a question and answer session with the participating audience.

Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans: The Marketplace in 2013 and Key Trends, 2006-2013

This report presents findings from an analysis of the Medicare Part D marketplace in 2013 and changes in drug coverage and costs since 2006. It presents key findings related to Medicare drug plan availability, enrollment, premiums, low-income subsidies, the coverage gap, benefit design, cost sharing, formularies, and utilization management, based on data from CMS for all plans participating in Part D. The analysis was conducted jointly by researchers at Georgetown University, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.

The Future of Medicare Advantage: Are We on the Right Path?

This June 10 briefing looked at Medicare Advantage and changes affecting it, including revised calculations of payments from CMS, and the Affordable Care Act’s reduced payments to Medicare Advantage plans. Speakers discussed how Medicare Advantage plans are expected to respond to payment changes; if quality bonus payments created significant changes in patient care or plan choices; and what implications could these decisions have on beneficiaries with regard to premiums, benefits and more.

An Analysis of the Share of Medicare Beneficiaries Who Would Benefit from an Annual Out-of-Pocket Maximum under Traditional Medicare Over Multiple Years

This analysis examines the share of Medicare beneficiaries who would be helped over time if the program were to add a limit on out-of-pocket spending to traditional Medicare. This analysis was conducted jointly with the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) in response to a request made during a Feb. 26, 2013 hearing of the House Ways and Means’ Subcommittee on Health.

Faces of Dually Eligible Beneficiaries: Profiles of People with Medicare and Medicaid Coverage

This brief examines the role of Medicare and Medicaid in the lives of dually eligible beneficiaries – low-income seniors and younger adults with disabilities who are eligible for both programs – through personal profiles. It includes a glossary of eligibility and service delivery system terms and state-level enrollment and expenditure data for dual eligibles.

Improving the Financial Accountability of Nursing Facilities

This report examines nursing facility expenditures to assess relative spending increases in areas such as nursing services, administrative costs, and profits. Using California as a case study, it explores reimbursement by cost category and a standard medical loss ratio (MLR) as potential policy options to improve nursing facility financial accountability and care quality.