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Paying a Visit to the Doctor: Current Financial Protections for Medicare Patients When Receiving Physician Services

This issue brief explains provisions in current law that shield beneficiaries from unexpected and confusing charges when they see physicians and practitioners—namely, the participating provider program, limitation on balance billing, and conditions on private contracting for doctors who opt out of Medicare or join “concierge” practices. It also analyzes the implications of modifying these provisions for beneficiaries, providers, and the Medicare program.

New Report on the “Rising Cost of Living Longer” Details Medicare Spending by Age

A new report, The Rising Cost of Living Longer: Analysis of Medicare Spending by Age for Beneficiaries in Traditional Medicare, from the Kaiser Family Foundation takes a detailed look at per person Medicare spending by age and by service among the nearly 30 million people covered by traditional Medicare in 2011

Physician Workforce: The Next Generation

The new health reform law poses questions about how the increase in the insured population will affect the demand on the health care workforce. Will it increase the shortage among primary care physicians? What about specialists? How much of the workforce shortage can be alleviated by payment incentives in the…

Research Brief: Insurance Coverage and Access to Care in Primary Care Shortage Areas

As both federal and state governments gear up to implement the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), concerns about the supply and distribution of physicians, particularly primary care physicians, are being raised. In many areas of the country, there is a shortage of primary care physicians, and some worry…

Private Contracts Between Doctors and Medicare Patients: Key Questions and Implications of Proposed Policy Changes

Changes in Medicare’s private contracting laws could have significant implications for beneficiaries, doctors, and the Medicare program. This brief summarizes the three options that physicians and practitioners currently have for charging Medicare patients, explains how private contracting works in Medicare under current law, and reviews current proposals on changes to private contracting in Medicare, as well as their implications for patients, physicians, and the Medicare program.

New Fact Sheets Highlight the Role and Reach of Medicaid in Every State

A new collection of state Medicaid fact sheets highlights the role and reach of the nation’s public health insurance program for people with low income, which covers more than 70 million Americans, many with complex and costly health conditions. The fact sheets for each state are accessible via an interactive…

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Headquarters: 2400 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270

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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.