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How Medicaid Enrollees Fare Compared with Privately Insured and Uninsured Adults: Findings from the Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey, 2016

April 27, 2017

Issue: The number of Americans insured by Medicaid has climbed to more than 70 million, with an estimated 12 million gaining coverage under the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion. Still, some policymakers have questioned whether Medicaid coverage actually improves access to care, quality of care, or financial protection. Goals: To compare the experiences of working-age adults who were either: covered all year by private employer or individual insurance; covered by Medicaid for the full year; or uninsured for some time during the year. Method: Analysis of the Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey, 2016. Findings and Conclusions: The level of access to health care that Medicaid coverage provides is comparable to that afforded by private insurance. Adults with Medicaid coverage reported better care experiences than those who had been uninsured during the year. Medicaid enrollees have fewer problems paying medical bills than either the privately insured or the uninsured.

Mortality Trends Among Working-Age Whites: The Untold Story

January 29, 2016

Recent research has called attention to an unexpected rise in death rates among middle-aged, white Americans between 1999 and 2014. The full extent of the phenomenon may be underappreciated, however. If one assumes, based on historical trends, that mortality rates should have declined by 1.8 percent per year, then whites in 2014 had higher-than-expected mortality rates from age 19 to age 65. Furthermore, while increased substance abuse and suicides explain the elevated mortality rates for younger adults, middle-aged whites also seem to be experiencing stalled or rising mortality rates for most ailments and diseases. While a national phenomenon, middle-aged whites face much more adverse mortality trends in certain states and regions. The especially broad reach of these negative mortality trends suggests there is an urgent need for further investigation of its causes and potential remedies.

Moving Jewish Educators to the Next Stage in Their Career: An Evaluation of New York University's Dual Master's and Doctoral Programs in Education and Jewish Studies

October 1, 2015

This study used a qualitative inquiry methodology to explore the experiences of students, which is a common methodological approach in research on higher education when a study's sample size is small and individuals' narratives are diverse (Anderson & Anderson, 2012; Golde & Dore, 2001; Maki & Borkowski, 2006). The evaluation team conducted initial and follow-up phone interviews with the 24 recipients of the Jim Joseph Foundation fellowships under this grant. The interviews inquired about professional experience and academic background, career goals, academic courses and other professional development, professional networking, current employment, and leadership experiences. In addition, the evaluation team conducted interviews with academic advisors and reviewed program materials. To validate the formation of a framework and quality indicators for the review of the programs, the team conducted comprehensive literature review and interviews with employers of the fellows. The evaluation team synthesized the data collected to determine the level of programs' capacity to prepare students for leadership roles in Jewish education and the impact of the programs on students to date.

Does Medicaid Make a Difference? Findings from the Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey, 2014

June 24, 2015

As millions of Americans gain Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act, attention has focused on the access to care, quality of care, and financial protection that coverage provides. This analysis uses the Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey, 2014, to explore these questions by comparing the experiences of working-age adults with private insurance who were insured all year, Medicaid beneficiaries with a full year of coverage, and those who were uninsured for some time during the year. The survey findings suggest that Medicaid coverage provides access to care that in most aspects is comparable to private insurance. Adults with Medicaid coverage reported better care experiences on most measures than those who had been uninsured during the year. Medicaid beneficiaries also seem better protected from the cost of illness than do uninsured adults, as well as those with private coverage.

The Affordable Care Act at Five Years

March 19, 2015

Thank you, Chairman Hatch, Senator Wyden, and members of the Committee, for this invitation to testify on the Affordable Care Act at five years. Research from The Commonwealth Fund and other sources demonstrate that the Affordable Care Act is helping to reduce the number of Americans who are uninsured and improving access to health care.Currently, more than 25 million people are estimated to have health insurance under the provisions of the ACA. About 11.7 million have selected a plan through the insurance marketplaces―8.8 million through the federal website and 2.8 million through state-based marketplaces. An additional 10.8 million have enrolled in Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. Finally, nearly 3 million more young adults are covered under their parent's plan compared to 2010.As a result, the number of uninsured adults has fallen. This week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that 16.4 million previously uninsured people had gained coverage since the law passed in 2010. Similar gains in coverage have been documented in a number of government and private-sector surveys. Furthermore, groups that historically have been most likely to lack insurance—young men and women, and adults with low or moderate incomes—have experienced among the greatest gains in coverage. These gains have occurred across racial and ethnic groups.

Evaluation of the Jim Joseph Foundation Education Initiative Year 3 Report

July 1, 2014

Launched in 2010, the Jim Joseph Foundation Education Initiative supports programs at three flagship Jewish institutions of higher education: Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), and Yeshiva University (YU). As part of this initiative, HUC-JIR, JTS, and YU designed and piloted new programs, enhanced existing programs, and provided financial assistance to additional programs.American Institutes for Research (AIR) is conducting an independent evaluation of the Jim Joseph Foundation Education Initiative. This report is the third in a series of five annual reports that describe progress toward accomplishing the goals of the Education Initiative.

Americans' Experiences in the Health Insurance Marketplaces: Results from The First Three Months

January 9, 2014

Conducted December 11–29, 2013, The Commonwealth Fund's second Affordable Care Act Tracking Survey interviewed a nationally representative sample of adults who are potentially eligible for the health reform law's new insurance options, whether private plans or Medicaid. Results show that by the end of December, 24 percent of potentially eligible adults had visited a marketplace to find a plan. The first survey, conducted in October, had found that 17 percent of people potentially eligible for coverage had visited the marketplaces during the first month of open enrollment. By the end of December, 41 percent of visitors were ages 19 to 34, and 77 percent reported being in good health. People's ability to compare benefits and premiums improved between October and December, but many reported challenges in plan selection. A majority of respondents say they are determined to gain coverage by the end of this year's open enrollment period.

The Federal Role in Promoting Health Information Technology

January 27, 2009

Outlines the need to expand adoption of health information technology to improve healthcare quality and efficiency; the financial, technical, and logistical challenges; and providers' concerns. Discusses federal policy options for addressing them.

Committed to Safety: Ten Case Studies on Reducing Harm to Patients

April 1, 2006

Presents case studies of healthcare organizations, clinical teams, and learning collaborations to illustrate successful innovations for improving patient safety nationwide. Includes actions taken, results achieved, lessons learned, and recommendations.

The Business Case for Quality: Ending Business as Usual in American Health Care

July 1, 2004

Examines some of the reasons why establishing a business case for improving health care is so difficult, and considers possible solutions. Includes comments on quality provisions of the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003.