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Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: April 2015

This month’s Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds public opinion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues to be almost evenly split The poll also asks about health care priorities for the President and Congress, and the concern that comes out on top for Democrats, Republicans and independents alike is making sure that high-cost drugs for chronic conditions are affordable to those who need them. Other than high-cost prescription drugs, Democrats, Republicans and independents have different ideas of their top priorities in health care. The poll also assesses Americans’ use of comparative price and quality information about doctors, hospitals and health plans.

What is Medicaid’s Impact on Access to Care, Health Outcomes, and Quality of Care? Setting the Record Straight on the Evidence

Medicaid now covers more than 1 in every 5 Americans, and millions of uninsured individuals will become newly eligible for Medicaid under the ACA. Considering Medicaid’s large and growing coverage role, an evidence-based assessment of the program’s impact on access to care, health outcomes, and quality of care is of major interest. This brief takes a look at what the research literature shows regarding the difference Medicaid makes.

Performance Measurement Under Health Reform: Proposed Measures For Eligibility and Enrollment Systems and Key Issues and Trade-offs to Consider

The adoption of new eligibility and enrollment requirements under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides states and the federal government an important opportunity to implement a meaningful set of performance measures for eligibility and enrollment systems. Performance measures could be used at the federal level to assess state performance in…

Health of the Healthcare System

Health of the Healthcare System is a diagnostic look at the state of our healthcare system. How does the U.S. healthcare system compare to health systems of other high-income countries, and how has it fared over time? Kaiser Health News and former-NPR reporter, Julie Rovner, takes us through a check-up…

Although Their Share of the Market Varies By State, Enrollment in Medicare Advantage Plans Has More Than Doubled Over the Past Decade, with More than 4 in 10 Medicare Beneficiaries Now Enrolled in the Private Plans

The private plans known as Medicare Advantage now cover more than 4 in 10 Medicare beneficiaries, reflecting a more than doubling of enrollment over the past decade even as the plans remain a far larger presence in some states than others, according to a new KFF analysis. More than 26…

Reading the Stars: Nursing Home Quality Star Ratings, Nationally and by State

This issue brief presents national and state-level analysis of nursing homes based on the Five-Star Quality Rating System, recently updated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to help consumers compare nursing homes when selecting one for themselves or their family members. The issue brief finds that more than one-third (36%) of the nation’s 15,500 nursing homes certified by Medicare or Medicaid received relatively low ratings of 1 or 2 stars (out of a possible 5 stars). In 11 states, at least 40 percent of nursing homes in the state have 1- or 2-star ratings. In 23 states, however, at least half of the nursing homes have 4- or 5- star ratings. This issue brief discusses relevant policy considerations regarding nursing home quality—a serious issue in light of the vulnerability of the nursing home population and recent reports of problems arising from inadequate staffing, fire safety hazards, and substandard care.

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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.