Your Source for Health Reform

Topic: Data

Digitally presenting data helps us understand who the uninsured are and where they live, or find the locations of facilities and services. Such visualizations allow governments and communities to discover how well needs are being met, and they can serve to inform future programs, outreach, and policy.

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Advocacy with Medicaid Managed Care

This March 2015 guide from the National Health Law Program reviews the laws and reporting requirements for Medicaid managed care organizations. The guide identifies where and how advocates and policymakers can locate data to promote accountability and quality care from managed care organizations.

Successful Cost Containment Strategies

A study released by the Commonwealth Fund in January 2015 explores what care arrangements and payment incentives effectively reduced medical costs for the chronically ill.

Impact of High Deductibles on Access to Care

While privately insured Americans age 18-64 are satisfied with their plans, a significant minority, including those covered by high-deductible health plans, are greatly impacted by the out-of-pocket cost of health care. They are concerned with the uncertainty of major expenses, skip necessary medical treatment, and experience real financial burden when obtaining health care. (more…)

Contraceptive Coverage Guarantee Works

This September 2014 study from the Guttmacher Institute found that the proportion of privately insured women who did not pay out of pocket for oral contraceptive rose from 15% in the fall of 2012, before the requirement took effect, to 67%, in the spring of 2014. The proportions also increased markedly for other types of contraception.

First Look at the Open Payment System

The Open Payments System, mandated by the ACA, details payments made to doctors and teaching hospitals by pharmaceutical and medical device companies. This report breaks down by categories the $3.5 billion that these companies spent from August to December in 2013. Although much of the data is redacted or not categorized, which makes the information hard to interpret, this September 2014 report from ProPublica helps provide an initial interpretation of payment data.

Illinois County Health Rankings

These interactive maps show health outcomes including length of life and quality of life and health factors like health behaviors, access to care, and socioeconomic factors. This report and data is provided by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Preventive Services for Women

This infographic highlights the missed opportunities for preventive counseling on risk factors and reveals that a large proportion of women are unaware that the ACA requires private plans to cover many preventive services without cost sharing. It also shows how lack of insurance impacts rates of mammograms and other screening tests for women and how costs are a barrier that cause some women to postpone services or skip a recommended test or treatment. (more…)

ACA and Rural Areas

About 50 million people, or 16% of the U.S. population, live in rural areas. The rural population is poorer and less likely to be covered by employer-based insurance than the metropolitan population, and nearly two-thirds of uninsured people in rural areas live in a state that is not currently implementing the Medicaid expansion. This May 2014 brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation includes multiple charts highlighting this data.

Who are the Newly Insured?

This May 2014 policy brief from the Urban Institute presents charts showing that most enrollees are in ACA target income groups, and that newly insured adults tend to be younger than those already insured, more likely to report fair or poor health, and often lack a strong connection to the health care system.

Lessons from Open Enrollment

This survey by Enroll America showed that knowledge barriers inhibited some people from enrolling the first round, as well as high interest in the next round. The article highlights the importance of encouraging moms to enroll young adults, providing the Latino community with more information and enrollment help, and continuing to educate the public about the ACA.

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