News and Updates

  • Home-Based Telehealth Services: An Overview of Payer Policies and State Experiences

    Aug 16, 2019

    A new issue brief reviews existing Medicaid, Medicare, and private payer policies on home-based telehealth, and draws on stakeholder interviews, to give state policymakers a sense of the landscape. Read more

  • State Opportunities to Support Family Caregivers

    Aug 15, 2019

    An estimated 34 million Americans provide unpaid care to an older family member. A new Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) infographic and fact sheet describe the vital role of family caregivers in the U.S. health care workforce and economy, and outline how states can enact policies to increase support for family caregivers. The resources are products of CHCS’s Helping States Support … Read more

  • New “JAMA Viewpoint”: State and Employer Reactions to High Commercial Health Insurer Prices for Hospital Services

    Jul 22, 2019

    In a new JAMA “Viewpoint,” Milbank Memorial Fund President Christopher Koller and Dhruv Khullar, MD, of Weill Cornell Medicine summarize the research showing that commercial hospital prices are high relative to Medicare, and that the size of the price discrepancies is increasing. They highlight steps some states and employers are taking to address the issue. Read more

  • New Report Shows an Association Between Increased Primary Care Spending and Fewer ED Visits and Hospitalizations

    Jul 17, 2019

    Spending on primary care varies widely at the state level—and increased primary care spending is associated with decreases in emergency department visits and hospitalizations, according to the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative’s 2019 Evidence Report. Read more

  • How the Federal Government Supports State and Local Efforts to Improve Rural Health: A Q&A with Tom Morris

    Jun 27, 2019

    As a group, rural residents are older and poorer than other Americans and have worse access to health care services. These are just a few of the reasons why Tom Morris, associate administrator of rural health policy for the Health Resources Services Administration, and his colleagues are working “to make sure rural issues are front and center when policy issues are considered.” Read more

  • How Five States Are Supporting Family Caregivers

    Jun 19, 2019

    Family and unpaid caregivers play a foundational role in the care of older adults with complex health needs and disabling conditions. In a new report cosponsored by The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Milbank Memorial Fund, researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health highlight five states—Washington, Hawaii, Maine, Minnesota, and Tennessee—that have advanced policies and programs in support of family caregivers. Read more

  • A Better Way to Contain Medicaid Costs

    Jun 13, 2019

    The Tennessee legislature recently passed a bill that could make it the first state to request a Medicaid block grant. Under a block grant, Tennessee would receive a fixed annual sum from the federal government for its Medicaid program rather than open-ended federal dollars. But John Kitzhaber, MD, former governor of Oregon, and Bruce Goldberg, MD, former director of the Office for Oregon Health Policy and Research, say that this approach does nothing to reduce the cost of care and hurts Medicaid recipients. Read more

  • A Growing Number of States Have Policies to Increase Primary Care

    Jun 5, 2019

    A first step toward increasing primary care investment is measuring and reporting on existing primary care spending. In 2019, several states introduced legislation on this topic, and Colorado and Vermont now have new laws to advance these policies. Read more

  • Supporting Rural Health: Practical Solutions for State Policymakers

    May 29, 2019

    Many health care challenges are exacerbated in rural areas, such as limited access to services, provider shortages, and the prevalence of avoidable deaths from chronic disease and substance use disorders. In a new issue brief, Emily Whelan Parento, an O’Neill Institute Scholar at Georgetown University Law Center, summarizes information presented at three Reforming States Group regional meetings of state and federal health officials and health services researchers working on rural health issues. The brief examines the importance of health care delivery models that promote and incentivize investment in community health, the need for workforce development such as programs to train and retain providers in rural areas, and the need for ongoing rural health research and policy development. Read more

  • Can Competing Health Plans Collaborate to Improve Primary Care?

    May 17, 2019

    For a new issue brief, Noam Levey interviewed participating payers in three distinct regional markets in the Comprehensive Primary Care Plus program: Colorado, Oklahoma, and Greater Philadelphia. While the challenges inherent in fostering collaboration across companies that usually compete vigorously were handled differently in each market, common themes emerged including strong payer commitment and the need for sustained federal leadership. Read more