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Full-Text Articles in Health Law and Policy

Puerto Rico’S Community Health Centers In A Time Of Crisis, Peter Shin, Jessica Sharac, Marie Nina Luis, Sara J. Rosenbaum Dec 2015

Puerto Rico’S Community Health Centers In A Time Of Crisis, Peter Shin, Jessica Sharac, Marie Nina Luis, Sara J. Rosenbaum

Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative

In 2014, Puerto Rico’s twenty federally funded community health centers, operating in 71 sites located throughout the Commonwealth, served 330,736 patients, approximately one in ten Commonwealth residents. Compared to other Puerto Rico residents, health center patients are less likely to be insured. Despite considerable growth in Medicaid as a result of the supplemental funding provided under the Affordable Care Act, in 2014, 12.2% of health center patients remained uninsured.

Compared to health centers outside Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico’s health centers show a greater proportion of Medicaid patients served (69% compared to 46% outside Puerto Rico), a ...


Health Center Trends: Recent Experience In Medicaid Expansion And Non-Expansion States., Peter Shin, Jessica Sharac, Julia Zur, Sara J. Rosenbaum, Julia Paradise Dec 2015

Health Center Trends: Recent Experience In Medicaid Expansion And Non-Expansion States., Peter Shin, Jessica Sharac, Julia Zur, Sara J. Rosenbaum, Julia Paradise

Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative

In thousands of medically underserved communities across the U.S., community health centers enroll lowincome people in health coverage and provide care to millions of patients. Against the backdrop of significant health center expansion over several years and a full year of expanded health coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), this brief examines change between 2013 and 2014 in the volume and health coverage profile of health center patients, and health center enrollment activities and service capacity, comparing states that implemented the ACA Medicaid expansion in 2014 and states that did not expand Medicaid in 2014. The study is ...


Medicare Part B Premiums And Social Security Benefits, Sally Coberly Nov 2015

Medicare Part B Premiums And Social Security Benefits, Sally Coberly

National Health Policy Forum

This paper describes the annual determination of beneficiaries' premiums for voluntary Medicare Part B coverage and a provision known as "hold harmless." The hold-harmless provision prevents a beneficiary's Social Security payments from being reduced as a result of an increase in the Part B premium. Because there was no cost-of-living increase for Social Security benefits for 2016, the hold-harmless provision will be in effect. This paper discusses what happens to premiums in 2016 for beneficiaries who are not held harmless—new beneficiaries, beneficiaries who do not participate in Social Security, those who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid ...


Meaningful Use Of Health Information Technology: Proving Its Worth?, Lisa Sprague Nov 2015

Meaningful Use Of Health Information Technology: Proving Its Worth?, Lisa Sprague

National Health Policy Forum

Health policymakers in recent years have looked to the implementation of health information technology (IT)—electronic health records and the like—as a means to improve quality, reduce costs, and achieve better health outcomes across populations. But implementing health IT in a meaningful way must go beyond purchasing medical records software. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) devised a set of measures and incentives for hospitals and eligible medical professionals within Medicare or Medicaid to mark successive stages of effective IT implementation. This issue brief discusses the history of meaningful use, the measures used to evaluate ...


Medicare's Post-Acute Care Payment: An Updated Review Of The Issues And Policy Proposals, Sally Coberly Oct 2015

Medicare's Post-Acute Care Payment: An Updated Review Of The Issues And Policy Proposals, Sally Coberly

National Health Policy Forum

Medicare spending on post-acute care provided by home health agencies, skilled nursing facilities, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, and long-term care hospitals accounted for about 10 percent of total program outlays in 2013. The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission and others have noted several long-standing problems with the payment systems for post-acute care and have suggested refinements to Medicare's post-acute care payment systems that are intended to encourage the delivery of appropriate care in the right setting for a patient's condition. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 contained several provisions that affect the Medicare program's post-acute care ...


Challenges Of Forecasting Physician Workforce Needs Amid Delivery System Transformation, Rob Cunningham Sep 2015

Challenges Of Forecasting Physician Workforce Needs Amid Delivery System Transformation, Rob Cunningham

National Health Policy Forum

As population growth and the aging of the overall population increase demand for health care, policymakers and analysts grapple with whether sufficient health care providers, particularly physicians, will be available to meet that demand. Some argue there are too few physicians already; others say our current supply-demand problems lie with efficiency. But suppose both are correct? Perhaps the real challenge is to understand how the provision of health care services is changing in response to market forces such as payment changes, patients' expectations, provider distributions, and technology innovations. This issue brief revisits what is known about evolving practice organizations, professional ...


How Has The Affordable Care Act Benefitted Medically Underserved Communities? : National Findings From The 2014 Community Health Centers Uniform Data System, Jessica Sharac, Peter Shin, Sara J. Rosenbaum Aug 2015

How Has The Affordable Care Act Benefitted Medically Underserved Communities? : National Findings From The 2014 Community Health Centers Uniform Data System, Jessica Sharac, Peter Shin, Sara J. Rosenbaum

Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative

Community health centers represent the single largest comprehensive primary health care system serving medically underserved communities, operating in more than 9,000 urban and rural locations. Newly-released data for 2014 from the Uniform Data System (UDS; the federal health center reporting system) shed important light on the impact of the Affordable Care Act in its first full year of implementation in medically underserved urban and rural communities across the U.S. These communities experience elevated poverty, heightened health risks, lack of access to primary health care, and a significantly greater likelihood that residents will be uninsured.

The UDS data show ...


How Will Texas’ Affordable Care Act Implementation Decisions Affect The Population? A Closer Look, Sara J. Rosenbaum, Sara Rothenberg, Sara Ely Jun 2015

How Will Texas’ Affordable Care Act Implementation Decisions Affect The Population? A Closer Look, Sara J. Rosenbaum, Sara Rothenberg, Sara Ely

Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) gives states two key choices: Whether to expand Medicaid to cover poor uninsured adults; and whether to establish a state Exchange. No population stands to gain more from these choices than residents of Texas, who experience the nation’s highest uninsured rate. National estimates show that by not expanding Medicaid, the state has foregone coverage for 1.5 million people. County‐level estimates show that in 249 out of 254 counties, the proportion of uninsured adults exceeds 20 percent of the total adult county population. In 31 counties, the proportion of low income uninsured adults ...


The Star Rating System And Medicare Advantage Plans, Lisa Sprague May 2015

The Star Rating System And Medicare Advantage Plans, Lisa Sprague

National Health Policy Forum

With nearly 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries opting to enroll in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans instead of fee-for-service Medicare, it’s safe to say the MA program is quite popular. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) administers a Star Ratings program for MA plans, which offers measures of quality and service among the plans that are used not only to help beneficiaries choose plans but also to award additional payments to plans that meet high standards. These additional payments, in turn, are used by plans to provide additional benefits to beneficiaries or to reduce cost sharing—added features that are likely to factor into beneficiaries’ choice of MA plans. The Star Ratings program is also meant to drive improvements in the quality of plans, and this secondary effort seems to have been successful. Despite this success, issues with the Star Ratings system remain, including: how performance metrics are developed, chosen, and maintained; how differences among beneficiary populations (particularly with regard to the dually eligible and those receiving low-income subsidies) should be recognized; and the extent to which health plans can control the variables on which they are being measured. Because the Star Ratings approach has been extended to providers of health care as well—hospitals, nursing homes, and dialysis facilities—these issues are worth exploring as CMS fine-tunes ...


Annual Report 2014, Forum Staff Apr 2015

Annual Report 2014, Forum Staff

National Health Policy Forum

This annual report describes the activities of the Forum during the 2014 calendar year, and provides a snapshot of our audience and resources.


The Public Health Service, Jennifer Jenson Feb 2015

The Public Health Service, Jennifer Jenson

National Health Policy Forum

This document provides an overview of the Public Health Service (PHS) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, including a brief history and discussion of the agencies and offices that constitute the PHS today. Information on the mission, key programs, and budgets of PHS agencies and offices is also included.


Health Policy Essentials: Common Health Care Acronyms, National Health Policy Forum Feb 2015

Health Policy Essentials: Common Health Care Acronyms, National Health Policy Forum

National Health Policy Forum

No abstract provided.


Relative Value Units (Rvus), Sally Coberly Jan 2015

Relative Value Units (Rvus), Sally Coberly

National Health Policy Forum

This publication reviews Medicare's relative value units (RVUs), which are assigned to each physician service to represent the resources required to provide the service relative to all other physician services. Three types of resources are included: physician work, that is, the physician time and effort; practice expenses, such as clinical staff and equipment; and professional liability insurance. Each service's RVUs are multiplied by a common dollar conversion factor to determine the Medicare payment.


Clash Of The Titans: Medicaid Meets Private Health Insurance, Sara J. Rosenbaum Jan 2015

Clash Of The Titans: Medicaid Meets Private Health Insurance, Sara J. Rosenbaum

Health Policy and Management Faculty Publications

Throughout its first forty-eight years of life, the federal Medicaid statute lacked a viable insurance pathway for most low-income adults' ineligible for employer-sponsored coverage. In what is arguably the most important public health achievement since the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid fifty years ago, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) fundamentally alters this picture. Building on earlier breakthroughs for children, the ACA restructures Medicaid to cover poor adults and juxtaposes its new architecture against an affordable and accessible private insurance market for people ineligible for employer-sponsored or government insurance.


Bundled Payments For Care Improvement Initiative – Insights From The Test Pilots Of Payment Reform, Jason M. Sutherland, William B. Borden Jan 2015

Bundled Payments For Care Improvement Initiative – Insights From The Test Pilots Of Payment Reform, Jason M. Sutherland, William B. Borden

Medicine Faculty Publications

Background: The Medicare Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) pilot program aims to reward high-value providers by setting a global payment target for particular episodes of care. The representativeness of BPCI participants will influence the ability of this pilot to inform policy decisions. Methods: We linked the Medicare lists of participants in the risk-bearing portion of BPCI Model 2, encompassing acute and post-acute care, to the American Hospital Association resource file and the 2013 Hospital Value-Based Purchasing quality performance data. We classified episode-initiating hospitals by the number of bundles in which they were participating into “narrow”, “medium” and “comprehensive”. The ...