Archive for March, 2012


Why All the Fuss About the IPAB?

One of the more controversial aspects of the Affordable Care Act is the Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB.  Created to help hold down rising Medicare costs, the IPAB has come under fire from both the right and the left.

And last week, the House voted to abolish it.

What role did the Affordable Care Act carve out for the IPAB?  To learn more about this, how the agency is supposed to function, and why it is so controversial, read “The IPAB:  The Center of a Political Clash Over How to Change Medicare” here, on the Kaiser Health News site.…

The Individual Insurance Mandate

Assuming it survives legal challenges, the individual insurance mandate that is part of the Affordable Care Act will take effect in 2014.  Under this mandate, virtually all Americans are required to have health insurance.

But how will this mandate work?  To whom will it apply?  Who will be exempt from the requirement that everyone either purchase health insurance or pay a fine for failing to do so?

The Kaiser Family Foundation’s “Health Reform Source” web site considers these questions in a new article titled “The Individual Mandate:  How Sweeping?”  Read that article here.…

States Mulling Medicaid Budgets

As Medicaid enrollment remains high and tax revenues continue to fall below pre-recession levels in many states, governors and state legislators across the country are weighing various proposals that seek to balance the need to care for their low-income residents with fiscal responsibility and the groundwork they need to lay in preparation for implementing the Affordable Care Act.

The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured summarizes the proposals taking shape in state capitals across the country in a new report, “Governors Budgets for FY 2013 – What is Proposed for Medicaid?”  Read a summary and download the entire report here, on the Kaiser Foundation web site.…

Can Medicare Boost the Use of Primary Care?

Making greater use of primary care, some people believe, would improve the health of patients and eventually reduce health care costs.

But would it?

Congress bet on this proposition when it included a ten-year increase in Medicare payments for primary care in the Affordable Care Act.

Would such an increase produce even greater benefits if was permanent?  That’s the question researchers at the Center for Studying Health System Change and Mathematica Policy Research address in a new report, “Paying More for Primary Care:  Can it Help Bend the Medicare Cost Curve?”  Read an overview of this new Commonwealth Fund report and download the complete findings here.…

The Medicaid Expansion: A Tale of Two Hospitals

Different hospitals are preparing in different ways for the 16-20 million Americans who will become newly eligible for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act beginning in 2014.

Kaiser Health News looks at how two Miami hospitals – the private University of Miami Hospital and the public Jackson Memorial Hospital – are going about their preparations.  Read about their efforts here.…