Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues

President Donald Trump and the GOP congressional leaders have talked about modernizing Medicare, including a proposal from House Republicans to create a premium-support system for Medicare.  In the wake of passage of the GOP tax bill, which is expected to add to the national debt, there may be a focus on reining in the cost of entitlement programs such as Medicare, which may have significant implications for the Medicare program and its beneficiaries. The Trump administration also has shown interest in prescription drug spending in Medicare as well as in Medicare delivery system reform efforts such as Accountable Care Organizations, bundled payments and medical homes. Medicare Advantage now covers 1 in 3 Medicare beneficiaries and recent trends toward consolidation among insurers could have implications for beneficiaries.
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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.

Medicare’s Future

President Donald Trump and the GOP congressional leaders have talked about modernizing Medicare, including a proposal from House Republicans to create a premium-support system for Medicare.  In the wake of passage of the GOP tax bill, which is expected to add to the national debt, there may be a focus…

What Might a Repeal of the Affordable Care Act Mean for Medicare?

As Republican policymakers consider how to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), they are likely to face a number of decisions about whether to retain any of the law’s changes to Medicare. Repealing the ACA has potential implications for Medicare spending, beneficiaries, and other stakeholders, according to a…

How the Republican Health Agenda Could Play Out

In this Wall Street Journal Think Tank column Drew Altman discusses how Republicans will assume ownership of health care’s policy and political problems as they assume control, and how that may affect their plans for the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid and Medicare.

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.

The Bigger Story, and Agenda, Behind GOP Changes to Obamacare, Medicare and Medicaid

This column was published as a Wall Street Journal Think Tank column on November 21, 2016. Early media coverage of the Republican health-care agenda has concentrated on plans to repeal and then replace the Affordable Care Act. The larger story is GOP preparations for a health policy trifecta: to fundamentally change the…

Payment and Delivery System Reform in Medicare: A Primer on Medical Homes, Accountable Care Organizations, and Bundled Payments

This primer providers an overview of certain delivery system reform models that are being examined in traditional Medicare, and explains model goals, financial incentives, potential beneficiary implications, and results so far with respect to Medicare spending and care quality. The primer discusses accountable care organizations, medical homes and bundled payments.

Where President-elect Donald Trump Stands on Six Health Care Issues

Where does President-elect Donald Trump stand on key health care issues? This snapshot outlines his positions and policy statements during the campaign on issues such as health insurance, the ACA, Medicaid, Medicare, the opioid epidemic, prescription drug costs, and women’s reproductive health.