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Health and Health Care

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The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—health care reform—fundamentally changed health insurance and access to health care. Our researchers are unpacking the landmark law, studying the challenges of implementation, and using our Health Insurance Policy Simulation Model to estimate how its proposals will affect children, seniors, and families, as well as doctors, small businesses, and the national debt.

The Urban Institute also studies cost, coverage, and reform options for Medicare and Medicaid and analyzes trends and underlying causes of changes in health insurance coverage, access to care, and Americans’ use of health care services. Read more.

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CHIPRA Mandated Evaluation of the Children's Health Insurance Program: Final Findings (Research Report)
Genevieve M. Kenney, Lisa Clemans-Cope, Ian Hill, Stacey McMorrow, Jennifer M. Haley, Timothy Waidmann, Sarah Benatar, Matthew Buettgens, Victoria Lynch, Nathaniel Anderson, Additional Authors

This report presents findings from an evaluation of CHIP mandated by CHIPRA and patterned after an earlier evaluation. Some of the evaluation findings are at the national level, while others focus on the 10 states selected for more intensive study: Alabama, California, Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Texas, Utah, and Virginia. The evaluation included a large survey conducted in 2012 of CHIP enrollees and disenrollees in the 10 states, and Medicaid enrollees and disenrollees in three of these states. It also included case studies conducted in each of the 10 survey states in 2012 and a national telephone survey of CHIP administrators conducted in early 2013.

Posted to Web: October 24, 2014Publication Date: August 01, 2014

Ebola US Patient Zero: Lessons on Misdiagnosis and Effective Use Of Electronic Health Records (Article)
Divvy Upadhyay, Additional Authors

On September 30th, 2014, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the first travel-associated case of US Ebola in Dallas, TX. The events surrounding the care of this first case of Ebola in the US uncovered one of the biggest vulnerabilities of outpatient medicine – misdiagnosis. The case also illustrated how the use of electronic health records (EHRs) can become a potential barrier to making a correct or timely diagnosis. In this paper, we analyze the case, discuss several missed opportunities and outline key challenges facing diagnostic decision-making in EHR-enabled health care. Until recently, diagnostic errors have not received the respect and attention they deserve and have only now begun to find a possible place on the policy agenda.

Posted to Web: October 23, 2014Publication Date: October 23, 2014

Monitoring the Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Employers: Literature Review (Research Report)
Fredric Blavin, Bowen Garrett, Linda J. Blumberg, Matthew Buettgens, Sarah Gadsden, Shanna Rifkin

In this report, we analyze recent trends in the employer health insurance market and the anticipated effects of the Affordable Care Act on employers, with a particular focus on small firms with fewer than 50 workers. We first present a detailed picture of the employer market by identifying preexisting trends in key outcomes that could be incorrectly attributed to the Affordable Care Act. We also analyze the literature to identify economic factors that are important in current employer and employee decisions regarding health coverage.

Posted to Web: October 23, 2014Publication Date: October 23, 2014

CHIPRA Express Lane Eligibility Evaluation: Case Study of Louisiana's Express Lane Eligibility (Research Report)
Stan Dorn, Margaret Wilkinson, Sarah Benatar

With Express Lane Eligibility (ELE), a state's Medicaid and CHIP programs can rely on another agency's eligibility findings to qualify children for health coverage. This report examines Louisiana's experience with ELE, finding that Louisiana increased children's coverage and saved significant administrative costs. The first state to implement ELE's auto-enrollment option, Louisiana found that almost the same percentage of children obtained care, whether they enrolled (1) via standard Medicaid methods or (2) via ELE, with parents who consented to enrollment by accessing services. When the state changed procedures and required parents to consent by checking a box, enrollment declined by 62%.

Posted to Web: October 22, 2014Publication Date: January 12, 2014

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