Transforming Health Care Through Evidence and Collaboration
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Health Care Reform

  • There’s a growing sense of uncertainty about the future of the ACA’s insurance exchanges. While 12 million people received coverage through the exchanges this year, most of them with subsidies, the upcoming open enrollment period has brought a wave of news stories highlighting each new rate increase or insurer exiting a market. This webinar took a balanced look at what’s really happening in the exchange markets and what changes are necessary to ensure consumer choice and affordability.

  • In this essay, Steven Lieberman reviews the ACO landscape in both the public and private sectors and examines the major obstacles confronting these emerging organizations.

  • Adolescents and young adults are more likely to be uninsured than any other age group. Implementation of health reform and the reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIPRA) are expected to change this reality by improving affordability and expanding both public and private coverage. However, as more young adults are able to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans, ensuring access to confidential services, especially reproductive health care, will become even more important.

  • Although major changes to the ACA appear inevitable, there is still tremendous uncertainty about the scope and timing of those changes. This webinar, hosted by USC Annenberg’s Center for Health Journalism with support from NIHCM Foundation, explored the key questions to consider as this story evolves.

  • A NIHCM Foundation Journalism grant supports a webinar series for journalists to enhance their understanding of current and emerging health policy issues and improve health care reporting.

  • The 18th Annual Health Care Research Award has been awarded to Jason Abaluck and Jonathan Gruber for their piece “Choice Inconsistencies Among the Elderly: Evidence from Plan Choice in the Medicare Part D Program” in American Economic Review, June 2011. The paper demonstrated that Medicare beneficiaries tend to make poor choices when they initially select a prescription drug plan in Medicare Part D—paying more for coverage and out-of-pocket expenses than they would have paid under another plan available to them. The authors estimate that welfare would have been 27 percent higher if all enrollees had chosen rationally.

  • In this essay, Dr. Anthony Lo Sasso provides empirical evidence of the adverse selection that resulted when states adopted community rating and guaranteed issue requirements in their individual health insurance markets.

  • This policy brief, aimed at state and federal policymakers, provides a high-level summary of findings from a NIHCM-funded study on how early Medicaid expansion affected coverage.

  • This data brief offers a comprehensive look at how employer-sponsored insurance has been changing and how provisions of the ACA and other dynamics might affect this market.

  • This webinar identified obstacles to engaging Medicaid patients as well as success stories, with an eye on meeting the potential challenges of Medicaid reform.

  • This NIHCM-funded study used a mix of qualitative interviews with state Medicaid officials and quantitative analysis of three secondary databases to examine the process and impact of expanding Medicaid eligibility in six states that opted to expand Medicaid under the ACA’s early expansion provision. The work focused on drawing out implementation lessons for other states beginning to expand Medicaid eligibility and on understanding how expanded eligibility affects insurance coverage rates, Medicaid churning and access to care.

  • Nearly one million children gained health care coverage in 2014, and the extension of CHIP earlier this year preserved coverage for millions more. Yet there are still many challenges in keeping kids covered, including variations in state Medicaid policies and funding for CHIP beyond 2017.

  • The role of the courts has recently heightened as many individual market and Medicaid policy issues are set to be determined by judges across the country. In the lead up to the midterm elections, this webinar will examine the implications of impending health policy legal decisions.

  • With exchange open enrollment set to begin October 1, 2013, the federal government—now responsible for at least partial marketplace facilitation in 33 states—has perhaps the largest role to play in meeting the deadline. Ongoing discussions on Medicaid expansion and the premium assistance option have added to uncertainty about the size and composition of the exchange markets. Meanwhile, this unpredictability is challenging insurers as they work to design and competitively price qualified health plans, with consumer choice and plan affordability at stake.

  • This webinar, hosted by Alliance for Health Reform with support from NIHCM Foundation, explored different scenarios affecting private insurance markets and consumers.

  • In this essay, Dr. Eugene Steuerle and Stephanie Rennane help to inform this debate by presenting findings from their newly updated analysis showing that seniors retiring today can expect to receive dramatically more in entitlement program benefits during retirement than they contributed to the programs while working.

  • This NIHCM-funded study used comprehensive Medicare data and tools developed over several years of work with CMS to design and validate an analytical model of Medicare Part D plan selection. The model was then used to estimate the impact of three proposals to reduce inefficient enrollment choices.

  • NIHCM Foundation and National Association of Black Journalists developed a panel to explore efforts to improve health literacy and access to coverage among African Americans since the passage of the Affordable Care Act. The panel included speakers from Enroll America, CMS Office for Minority Health, NAACP and Health Care Service Corporation.

  • Thomas McGuire and his co-authors have been awarded the 20th Annual Health Care Research Award for their paper in the Journal of Health Economics, December 2013. This paper develops an empirical methodology for integrating risk-adjusted payments with premiums charged to individual enrollees in markets, with findings relevant to the health exchanges and Medicare Advantage.

  • This Health Matters webinar, hosted by USC Annenberg's Center for Health Journalism with support from NIHCM Foundation, provided an overview of the legal arguments at play in King v. Burwell, highlighting the profound implications for patients and outlining compelling story ideas.

  • Another high-stakes challenge to the ACA is headed to the Supreme Court, and this time it’s a question of statutory interpretation: does the law as written permit tax credits to be issued in states that aren’t running their own exchanges? At risk is affordable coverage in as many as 34 states where millions of exchange shoppers may have to decide whether to pay the full, unsubsidized premiums or go uncovered. 

  • This paper presents the results of NIHCM-funded research on the implementation process and initial impacts of early Medicaid expansions under the ACA.

  • Risk adjustment will be a critical mechanism for ensuring the stability of the new health insurance exchanges that will begin in 2014 and achieving the promise of health reform with respect to expanded access to insurance coverage.

  • On November 1, ACA marketplace open enrollment begins for 2018. Given the political turmoil around the ACA this year, consumers who depend on the marketplaces for coverage are likely wondering what to expect come November 1. This webinar helped consumers and reporters unpack what is known and still unknown about the individual market.

  • Since last fall, 25 states and the District of Columbia have been enrolling millions of newly eligible persons in Medicaid under the ACA's expansion provisions. The other 25 states have opted not to expand eligibility at this time. A handful of states are pursuing other expansion options, such as premium assistance models.

  • In this essay, Judith Solomon updates the scorecard of state expansion decisions and presents the latest evidence on how the Medicaid expansion is affecting access to care, state budgets and insurance coverage.

  • In this essay, two former state Medicaid directors examine the Medicaid expansion from different stakeholder perspectives and offer evidence of the sustained financial benefits that can accrue to states accepting federal funding to expand Medicaid eligibility.

  • This webinar offered a primer for understanding potential changes to Medicaid as well as story ideas for reporters across the country.

  • Anyone following the news, even casually, knows that our federal government is spending vastly more than it is taking in, resulting in huge annual deficits that must be covered by borrowing. We now borrow about 41 cents for every dollar we spend and have reached our legal debt limit of more than $14 trillion, forcing contentious standoffs over raising the debt ceiling.

  • Sarah Varney, Margaret Slattery and Diane Weber have been awarded an honorable mention for the 21st Annual Health Care Print Journalism Award in the General Circulation category for their story “Mississippi Burned” in POLITICO Magazine. Their reporting examines the complex, systemic government failures in the first year of the Affordable Care Act in Mississippi, including rising uninsured rates and emergency room costs following the state’s decision to not expand Medicaid.

  • This paper presents the results of NIHCM-funded research on how early Medicaid expansions under the ACA affected health insurance coverage.

  • Al Jazeera America producer Sam Black and his team have been awarded the 8th Annual Television and Radio Journalism Award for their Fault Lines investigation “Opioid Wars.” This report spotlights troubling opioid prescribing practices, the rapid FDA approval process for painkillers, growing drug company profits and the rising rates of overdose.

  • In this essay, Maya MacGuineas reviews the budget projections and comments on Administration proposals for addressing the fiscal crisis. She also describes a new set of recommendations from the Peterson-Pew Commission on Budget Reform calling for immediate and bold steps designed to stabilize our federal debt at 60 percent of GDP by 2018.

  • Jonathan D. Ketcham and his co-authors have been awarded the 19th Annual Health Care Research Award for their paper in the American Economic Review. The study shows that many Part D beneficiaries who made a non-optimal drug plan choice in their first year reduced their overspending significantly in the second year by switching plans. Beneficiaries learned quickly from past experience, evaluated what upcoming changes in plan premiums and benefits would mean to them, and were not overwhelmed by the array of choices.

  • This essay takes a look at developments in the small group market since the passage of the ACA and highlights several issues that could threaten the long-term viability of this market as implementation moves forward.

  • The ACA open enrollment for 2018 has begun amid consumer confusion and concerns about future market stability, but much can be done to put the individual market on a sustainable path. This webinar provided analysis of individual market dynamics as well as potential stabilization strategies.

  • This Health Matters webinar, hosted by USC Annenberg's Center for Health Journalism with support from NIHCM Foundation, provided an overview of trends in hospital consolidation, clarified what’s at stake for consumers and offered journalists fresh new ideas for reporting on this story.

  • In this essay, Joel Ario explains Section 1332 waivers and lays out ways states could use this mechanism to put their own stamp on health reform.

  • In this essay, Alice Rosenblatt explains how actuaries set premiums, shows how key provisions of the ACA will affect their pricing for the October 2013 open enrollment period and describes what’s at stake if they don’t get it right.

  • Laura Dague has been awarded the 21st Annual Health Care Research Award for her paper “The Effect of Medicaid Premiums on Enrollment: A Regression Discontinuity Approach” published in the Journal of Health Economics, May 2014. This paper demonstrates that adopting even a small monthly premium of $10 in Medicaid can cause low-income families to drop out of the program.

  • This Capitol Hill briefing brought together leaders who have served in Democratic and Republican Administrations, led and advised major health care companies, and spurred improvements in health policy for many decades. They shared their insights on the outlook for health policy post-election and their experiences spearheading the transformation of health care payment and delivery.

  • This health policy briefing on Capitol Hill brought together top health care leaders with diverse business and policy expertise.

  • Children in foster care face dramatic health inequities: nearly 60 percent have at least one chronic disease, and nearly 70 percent have moderate to severe mental health disorders. Relative to other non-disabled Medicaid beneficiaries, children in foster care use more medical services with higher associated costs. Yet the most recent Federal Child and Family Services Review found that about 25 percent of children in foster care have unmet health care needs.

  • Bill Coffin was awarded an honorable mention in the 18th Annual Trade Journalism Award for his piece “Tragic Tale” in National Underwriter Life & Health. This article follows the story of Bill Mantlo, a legendary writer for Marvel Comics in the 1970s and 1980s, who sustained a traumatic brain injury following a car accident. It details his fight to get help from the health care system and puts his struggles in the context of health care reform.

  • In this Expert Voices essay, former CMS actuary John Bertko outlines the complex factors plans are weighing as they develop their 2015 premiums, noting the uncertain impact of many of these factors. 

  • This webinar brought together top thought-leaders to discuss health care's ongoing challenges, including what to expect from Congress, the Trump Administration and the states in the coming months.

  • This webinar brought together experts in state and federal health policy to discuss the impact of potential changes to Medicaid with tips for reporters covering this evolving story.