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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.

Visualizing Health Policy: Intersection of State Abortion Policy and Clinical Practice

This Visualizing Health Policy infographic examines state policies related to abortion and their intersection with clinical practice. Nine of 10 reported abortions in the United States are in the first trimester. Between 2003 and 2012, the abortion rate decreased 18% among women aged 15 to 44 years. Twenty-five states have…

Primary Care Physicians Accepting Medicare: A Snapshot

This Data Note presents findings on reported acceptance of Medicare patients among non-pediatric primary care physicians, based on data from the Kaiser Family Foundation/Commonwealth Fund 2015 National Survey of Primary Care Providers. In addition to comparing physicians’ acceptance of Medicare to private insurance and Medicaid, this Data Note also explores the characteristics of non-pediatric primary care physicians who accept new Medicare patients and who have greater shares of Medicare patients in their caseloads.

How Prepared is the U.S. to Respond to COVID-19 Relative to Other Countries?

Compared to most similarly large and wealthy countries, the U.S. has fewer practicing physicians per capita but has a similar number of licensed nurses per capita. Looking specifically at the hospital setting, the U.S. has more hospital-based employees per capita than most other comparable countries, but nearly half of these hospital workers are non-clinical staff.

How Many Physicians Have Opted-Out of the Medicare Program?

This analysis examines the extent to which non-pediatric physicians have opted out of the Medicare program. The analysis finds that few physicians have opted out of Medicare, with the share of opt-out physicians varying by specialty.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.