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The Latest on Geographic Variation in Medicare Spending: A Demographic Divide Persists But Variation Has Narrowed

This report uses the most current data available to analyze Medicare per beneficiary spending, by county, in 2013; the growth in Medicare per beneficiary spending between 2007 and 2013, by county; and the extent to which geographic variation in Medicare per beneficiary spending has increased or decreased over time. The analysis finds that beneficiaries living in counties with relatively high Medicare per beneficiary spending tend to be sicker and poorer than beneficiaries living in lower-spending counties and that the gap between high and low-spending counties narrows but does not close after adjustments are made for differences in prices and beneficiaries’ health status. The analysis also shows that the amount of variation between the highest- and lowest-spending counties appears to have narrowed in recent years, raising questions as to whether these changes are due to specific shifts in payment policy. An interactive U.S. map showing county-level Medicare spending is also available.

Texans’ Experiences with Health Care Affordability and Access

Using data from the Kaiser Family Foundation/Episcopal Health Foundation 2018 Texas Health Policy Survey, this brief explores Texas residents’ experiences with health care affordability and access to care. It examines Texans’ difficulty affording health care compared to other basic needs, problems paying medical bills, and skipping or postponing care because of costs. It also explores the experiences of vulnerable groups like the uninsured and those with lower incomes.

Coloradans’ Perspectives on Health, Quality of Life, and Midterm Elections

The Kaiser Family Foundation and Colorado Health Foundation conducted a survey of Coloradans examining a wide range of topics leading into the 2018 midterm elections that include voters’ top issues for candidates, residents’ future outlook and priorities for the state, quality of life in Colorado and the affordability of housing, as well as health care concerns over cost, mental health, and substance abuse.

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…

Children’s Health Coverage: Medicaid, CHIP, and Next Steps

The Alliance for Health Reform and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation co-sponsored this briefing to examine the factors which influence children’s coverage. Questions addressed include: What are the trends in private sector coverage? How well are the enrollment simplification and outreach tools that are included in this year’s CHIP reauthorization…