Medicare

The federal program that covers medical care for people age 65 or older, younger people with disabilities, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease. Medicare covers about 13% of the US population and makes up a fifth of national health expenditures.

Prescription Drug Use under Medicare Part D: A Linear Model of Nonlinear Budget Sets

Feb. 1, 2015

Jason Abaluck, Jonathan Gruber, Ashley Swanson

In a NBER Working Paper, Jason Abaluck (Yale University), Jonathan Gruber (MIT) and LDI’s Ashley Swanson analyze the complicated decision problem faced by Medicare Part D enrollees in their use of prescription drugs. Enrollees must respond to prices that are difficult to find, and that may change as they spend more over time. As in other settings such as income taxation and electricity and cellular telephone markets, these sorts of nonlinear prices make it difficult to estimate behavior, as consumers may not follow rational models of consumption. The authors use Medicare Part D claims data...

Primary Care Shortages: More Than a Head Count

Issue Brief
Nov. 21, 2014

The existence of a primary care physician shortage, even prior to the ACA, is not universally accepted. A new report by the Institute on Medicine found “no credible evidence” that the nation faces a looming physician shortage in primary care specialties. There is greater consensus about a maldistribution of physicians, in terms of specialty, geography, and practice settings. 

Storified! Health Care Reform in 2015

Oct. 11, 2014
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We've gathered a collection of live tweets from our joint PennLDI-Wharton Public Policy Institute event held October 9.  Three panels of researchers and policymakers shared results and insights about how the research could help improve implementation of health care reform. 

Sit back, read more, and enjoy the story!

Medicare Advantage to Whom?

Mar. 27, 2014

In a new NBER working paper, LDI Senior Fellows Mark Duggan, Amanda Starc and Boris Vabson ask the question, “Who Benefits when the Government Pays More? Pass-Through in the Medicare Advantage Program.”  Their answer is unequivocal:  mostly insurers (in the form of higher profits), not consumers (in the form of better coverage). They set the stage:

Why the SGR should matter to medical educators

Nov. 26, 2013

The Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula – a source of unpredictability in Medicare payments to physicians – may finally be repealed. While this might seem unrelated to medical education, what happens next could have a significant impact on academic medicine and the training of students, residents and fellows.

Is Medicare Advantage Good for Your Health?

Jun. 17, 2013

A new National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) working paper by Afendulis, Chernew, and Kessler says yes. If this working paper holds up to peer review, these findings will offer an important endorsement of the Medicare Advantage program. The paper attributes large and striking reductions in all hospitalizations (22%), hospitalizations for ambulatory sensitive conditions (18%), and mortality (15%) to Medicare Advantage as illustrated in the graph below.

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