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The Racial Divide Affecting Medicaid Expansion

by Megan Doede, RN, BSN, CEN in Access to Care

New research published in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law revealed that public support for Medicaid expansion is related to state adoption, but this public [...]


Quality of Care

Access to Care

Health care costs


  • The New War on Drugs

    Over the past couple of years, prescription drug costs have begun to increase, driven partially by new high-priced pharmaceuticals. This has lead to increased co-pays as insurance providers look toward cutting costs. Value based insurance design (VBID)  arose to address the notion that providing access to more valuable medications, might optimize health care and perhaps reduce overall medical costs. However, previous studies of VBID often showed that lower co-pays for high-value drugs [...]
  • Lower Readmissions for Medicare Advantage

    Reducing readmission rates has been a quality measure which has recently received significant attention as a way to potentially decrease our nation’s healthcare expenditures. By improving outpatient resources and ensuring continuity of care after discharge, policymakers hope to decrease preventable readmissions. Source: Dyniss Rainer (Flickr/CC) There are some encouraging signs of progress in this regard; the overall rate of readmissions dropped from 20% to 17.5% after implementation of the [...]
  • Robbing the Poor to Give to the Rich

    Soaring health care costs have been a popular topic of discussion in the public arena, even in the midst of a recent spending slowdown between 2004 and 2013. The authors of this study investigated how health care expenditures differed between Americans from different income brackets from 1963 to 2012. Source: Wikipedia (Creative Commons) For much of the study period, the lowest income quintiles accounted for the highest health care expenditures. This trend changed, however, in the early 2000s [...]
  • Duty Bound: The Fight Over Medicaid

    The success of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues to be challenged by its opponents, including president-elect Donald Trump. While concerns over the ACA Marketplace persist, a growing body of evidence confirms financial stability for hospital systems in Medicaid expansion states as well as improvements in access to health care. Source: Kaiser Family Foundation Since Medicaid expansion, the number of uninsured has dropped with approximately 16 million gaining coverage.  This increase in [...]
  • Time to Join the War against High Drug Prices

    The cost of prescription drugs in the U.S. is constantly in the news, with the public becoming aware of increasing prices for off-patent drugs from the obscure Daraprim (up almost 5500% overnight from $13.50 to $700 per capsule) to the universally-known epinephrine (up almost 550% from $94 in 2007 to $609 in 2016 for a set of 2 EpiPens). Source: Derek Gavey (Flickr/CC) The authors reviewed medical and health policy literature to uncover the reasons why prescription drug prices in the U.S. are [...]
  • Photo Rotated Counter-Clockwise 90 degrees

    Moving the Medicare Age up is Bad Medicine

    A common goal for health reform is to decrease total health care expenditures. Adjusting the eligibility age for Medicare beneficiaries has the attraction of decreasing federal spending and shifting costs to private marketplaces. However, these reforms would detract from the pricing leverage present in Medicare, which provides significant cost savings relative to private insurers. John S. Quarterman (Flickr/CC) President Obama began his first term in office with proposals to move the American [...]
  • Innovating and Disrupting Emergency Care

    Freestanding emergency departments (FSEDs) have seen rapid growth in the United States in recent years, with their number increasing to 360 in 2015. This growth, however, has not been evenly distributed. Three states (Texas, Colorado, and Ohio) account for two-thirds of all FSEDs, with Texas alone being home to half. This study used a ZIP code-level analysis to understand the characteristics of areas in which FSEDs chose to locate in order to investigate how FSEDs affect access to emergency [...]
  • ACA’s Biggest Winners: Long-Term Uninsured

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) created the largest expansion of health insurance coverage in the United States in the roughly fifty years since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid. However, the ACA differs from prior expansions which largely targeted specific patient populations such as the elderly, disabled, and children. Instead, the law sought to fill the gaps largely through a combination of Medicaid expansion and new health insurance Marketplaces. However, exactly who would sign up for [...]
  • Medicare Advantage pays less than Fee for Service

    According to conventional wisdom among health policymakers and health economists, traditional fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare ought to be able to extract lower per unit prices than privately operated Medicare Advantage plans due to the former’s monopsony buying power. A new scientific study provides some of the earliest empirical evidence on this hypothesis and turns the theory on its head. Dagmar Luhringova (Public Domain) Medicare beneficiaries have had access to private coverage through [...]
  • Caring for the Whole Community

    Health centers have been lauded for providing high quality and low cost care to a large portion of the nation’s underserved population. In a community based primary care setting, health center patients receive culturally aware and focused care that is specifically directed by the patients themselves. Therefore it is not a surprise a recent analysis found lower utilization and spending for all services by Medicaid patients treated at health centers as compared to matched Medicaid patients [...]

2017 Policy Prescriptions® Symposium

Latest HSR Reviews

  • Fixing the Family Glitch

    April 17, 2017 // 0 Comments

    The “Family Glitch” is a problem cited by many policy experts as a substantial flaw in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Here is how it works: if an individual has a family income between 100-400% [...]
  • Americans Struggle with Costs and Access

    April 10, 2017 // 0 Comments

    Since 1998, the Commonwealth Fund has surveyed several health care metrics in eleven countries across North America, Europe, and Australia. Recent surveys have shown the United States lagging in [...]
  • Access to Specialists Worse with Medicaid

    April 6, 2017 // 0 Comments

    Increase outpatient services and thereby decrease expensive emergency department visits, or so the popular axiom goes. This only works, however, if there are enough outpatient visits to be had. This [...]
  • The Implications of Health Reform

    March 27, 2017 // 0 Comments

    On March 9, 2017, House Republicans announced the American Health Care Act (AHCA), their bill to replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). A week later, the nonpartisan [...]
  • Incentives for ACOs Outweigh Meaningful Use

    March 20, 2017 // 0 Comments

    Of the initiatives the federal government has launched in an effort to advance quality, encourage efficiency, and reduce the cost of health care, the Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model [...]
  • A Punch to the Gut for Young Americans

    March 13, 2017 // 0 Comments

    Appendicitis is not pleasant. Commonly described as a dull mid-abdominal ache that sharpens as it moves toward the right lower quadrant, it is often accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Worse than [...]
  • Time to Join the War against High Drug Prices

    March 6, 2017 // 0 Comments

    The cost of prescription drugs in the U.S. is constantly in the news, with the public becoming aware of increasing prices for off-patent drugs from the obscure Daraprim (up almost 5500% overnight [...]