Health Insurance

Financial and structural characteristics of the public and private programs that cover medical costs. LDI analyzes how to expand and improve coverage through insurance exchanges, employer-sponsored insurance, and public programs.

Trends in hospital-SNF relationships in the care of Medicare beneficiaries

May. 17, 2018

Joshua M. Liao, R. Tamara Konetzka, Rachel M. Werner

Abstract [from journal]

Improving the value of post-acute care at skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) has become a Medicare policy priority. Anecdotally, hospitals have responded by formally acquiring or pursuing tighter informal connections with SNFs. We evaluated the trend in connections between US acute care hospitals and Medicare-certified SNFs between 2000 and 2013 using vertical integration and two novel network-based measures (number of SNF partners, and...

Safeguards Needed in Medicaid Work Requirements

May. 10, 2018

In a push to encourage “personal responsibility,” the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved work requirements as a condition for receiving Medicaid benefits in four states - Kentucky, Indiana, Arkansas, and most recently New Hampshire, with applications from other states pending.

Most Primary Care Physicians Provide Appointments, But Affordability Remains A Barrier For The Uninsured

Apr. 26, 2018

Brendan Saloner, Katherine Hempstead, Karin Rhodes, Daniel Polsky, Clare Pan, Genevieve M. Kenney

Abstract [from journal]

The US uninsurance rate has nearly been cut in half under the Affordable Care Act, and access to care has improved for the newly insured, but less is known about how the remaining uninsured have fared. In 2012–13 and again in 2016 we conducted an experiment in which trained auditors called primary care offices, including federally qualified health centers, in ten

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Being Uninsured in America

Apr. 26, 2018

For the nearly 30 million people in the United States who have no health insurance, gaining access to care and paying for that care can be a challenge.  A new “secret shopper” study explores whether the uninsured can get a new primary care appointment, and at what price.

Shift in U.S. Payer Responsibility for the Acute Care of Violent Injuries After the Affordable Care Act: Implications for Prevention

Apr. 11, 2018

Abstract [from journal]

Background: Investment in violence prevention programs is hampered by lack of clearly identifiable stakeholders with a financial stake in prevention. We determined the total annual charges for the acute care of injuries from interpersonal violence and the shift in financial responsibility for these charges after the Medicaid expansion from the Affordable Care Act in

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Impact of Insurance Coverage on HIV Transmission Potential Among Antiretroviral Therapy-Treated Youth Living with HIV

Apr. 4, 2018

Sarah Wood, Sarah Ratcliffe, Charitha Gowda, Susan Lee, Nadia DowshenRobert...

Abstract [from journal]

Objective: To identify the prevalence of high HIV transmission potential in a cohort of youth living with HIV (YLWH), and determine the impact of insurance coverage on potential for HIV transmission.

Design: Retrospective cohort study of antiretroviral therapy (ART)-treated YLWH at a US adolescent HIV clinic, 2002–2015.

Methods: The primary exposure was presence or absence of insurance, defined as private, public or pharmacy-only coverage. The primary outcome was high HIV transmission...

Prior Authorization Requirements for Proprotein Convertase Subtilisin/Kexin Type 9 Inhibitors Across US Private and Public Payers

Research Brief
Mar. 28, 2018

A comprehensive review of prior authorization (PA) requirements for a new class of expensive cholesterol-lowering drugs known as proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) inhibitors has found unusually complex and burdensome demands across public and private insurance plans in the United States. These findings raise concerns that current policies may create undue barriers to care even in medically appropriate patients, particularly since requirements were just as stringent for patients with a genetic condition that creates more clear-cut eligibility for PCSK9 inhibitor treatment.

State-Based Marketplaces Outperform Federally-Facilitated Marketplaces

Issue Brief
Mar. 21, 2018

In response to regulatory changes at the federal level, states that run their own marketplaces have taken steps to stabilize their individual markets. In this comparison of state-based and federally-facilitated marketplaces from 2016-2018, we find that SBMs had slower premium increases (43% vs. 75%), and fewer carrier exits, than FFMs. The total population participating in FFMs declined by 10%, while the enrolled population in SBMs remained largely stable, increasing by 2%. We find that the performance of the ACA marketplaces varies by state and appears to cluster around marketplace types.

Public Opinion and Health Reform

Mar. 19, 2018

As policymakers debate the best way to address pressing health care challenges, one ‘opinion’ that is sometimes drowned out is that of the public. At a recent Penn LDI seminar, Mollyann Brodie, PhD, MS, Senior Vice President for Executive Operations and Executive Director of Public Opinion and Survey Research at the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), underscored the value of public polling when it comes to health care policy and politics.

Characteristics of Hospitals Earning Savings in the First Year of Mandatory Bundled Payment for Hip and Knee Surgery

Mar. 8, 2018

Amol S. NavatheJoshua M. Liao, Yash Shah, Zoe Lyon, Paula ...

In JAMA, Amol Navathe and LDI colleagues Joshua Liao, Paula Chatterjee, Dan Polsky, and Ezekiel Emanuel examine hospital savings and quality results for the first year of the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) bundled payment program. Since April 2016, Medicare has bundled payments for hip and knee replacements at 799 hospitals through CJR. The program incentivizes quality and cost containment by providing retrospective bonus payments that increase as hospitals exceed their cost and quality benchmarks, or imposing penalties if hospitals fall short. While the CJR...

The Effect of Integration of Hospitals and Post-Acute Care Providers on Medicare Payment and Patient Outcomes

Research Brief
Mar. 6, 2018

Vertical integration between hospitals and skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) increases Medicare payments for the first 60 days of care by $2,424 (17%), compared to hospital-SNF pairs that are not vertically integrated. These integrated hospital–SNF pairs also experience a decline in 30-day rates of rehospitalization or death of 5 percentage points on a base rate of 31.3%. Vertical integration between hospitals and home health agencies (HHAs) has little effect on Medicare payments and patient outcomes, nor does informal integration in either setting.

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