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Aiming for Fewer Hospital U-turns: The Medicare Hospital Readmission Reduction Program

This Issue Brief describes the Medicare Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP), which penalizes hospitals that have relatively higher readmission rates, analyzes the impact of this program on Medicare patients and hospitals, and discusses several issues that have been raised regarding its implementation.

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A Comprehensive Review of Research Finds That the ACA Medicaid Expansion Has Reduced the Uninsured Rate and Uncompensated Care Costs in Expansion States, While Increasing Affordability and Access to Care and Producing State Budget Savings   

 Multiple studies over the last five years find that the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion has increased health coverage, affordability, and access to care while producing budget savings for states and reductions in uncompensated care costs for hospitals and clinics, according to a KFF review of more than 300 studies…

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The U.S. Has Fewer Physicians and Hospital Beds Per Capita Than Italy and Other Countries Overwhelmed by COVID-19

A new analysis and chart collection finds that the U.S. has fewer hospital beds and practicing physicians per capita than many similarly large and wealthy countries with health care systems already strained by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Compared to Italy and Spain, two countries in which hospitals have already been…

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How Much More Than Medicare Do Private Insurers Pay? A Review of the Literature

This brief reviews findings from recent studies that compare Medicare and private health insurance payment rates for both hospital and physician services.

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The Veterans Health Administration’s Role During the COVID-19 Response

A new issue brief examines the role of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) during the coronavirus pandemic, and public health emergencies more broadly. The analysis finds that the VHA has provided assistance to 46 states and D.C., including treating over 270 non-veteran patients with coronavirus.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

How Do Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) Payments Change Under the ACA?

This brief provides some background on federal Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) allotments, how DSH payments are affected by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the methodology for the DSH reductions across states for FY 2014 and FY 2015 and a look at the implications of the reductions.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

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

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States and Medicaid Provider Taxes or Fees

This is an update on the use of Medicaid provider taxes and fees. It also includes information on which states would be affected by changing the safe harbor threshold from 6% to 5.5%.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Medicare Advantage Hospital Networks: How Much Do They Vary?

This report takes an in-depth look at Medicare Advantage plans’ hospital networks. The analysis draws upon data from 409 Medicare Advantage plans serving beneficiaries in 20 diverse counties that together accounted for about one in seven (14%) Medicare Advantage enrollees nationwide in 2015. The report examines the size and composition of plans’ hospital networks, the variation across counties, the inclusion of Academic Medical Centers and NCI-Designated Cancer Centers, and the relationship between network size and other plan features, including premiums, quality star ratings, per capita Medicare spending, parent organization, and plan tax status.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

New Analysis Shows States with Medicaid Expansion Experienced Declines in Uninsured Hospital Discharges

Expanded health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is having a major impact on hospital payer mix across the country. Similar to other reports recently released, new data examining hospital discharges in 16 states with data through the second quarter in 2014 show increases in Medicaid and declines in uninsured or self-pay discharges in states that implemented the Medicaid expansion. These trends hold true for all hospital discharges as well as for specific services such as mental health or asthma. This information adds to a growing body of evidence indicating that coverage expansions are affecting providers and may lead to decreases in uncompensated care for the uninsured.

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