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June 2023 Mercatus on Healthcare
Updates on healthcare research and commentary from the Mercatus Center's Open Health Project
This month, we bring you a series of new research products on Medicaid and Medicare that drive home an important lesson: Top-down planning in healthcare doesn’t work. Our scholars document issues related to Medicaid and Medicare payment policies and the effects on patients and clinicians, and they make recommendations to bring about value-based care and improve quality and access.
Traumatic Brain Injury: A Case Study in Failed Incentives to Address the Needs of Medicaid Patients in California (policy brief)
Anthony DiGiorgio and Lisa Grabert show how fee-for-service Medicaid keeps traumatic brain injury patients stuck in the hospital for months. They recommend that states incorporate long-term services and support into their managed care model.
Liam Sigaud breaks down the results of a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll. He explains that temporary poverty is not uncommon, yet he also highlights that policy changes over the past decades have made a growing share of the US population eligible for Medicaid.
The Medicare Physician Fee Schedule: Overview, Influence on Healthcare Spending, and Policy Options to Fix the Current Payment System (policy brief)
John O’Shea, Elise Amez-Droz, and Kofi Ampaabeng provide an overview of the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and demonstrate that the best way of bringing about value-based care across the system is to help more people choose Medicare Advantage. They also propose tweaks to improve Medicare Advantage.
John O’Shea and Kofi Ampaabeng summarize the takeaways from their policy brief on the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule at The Hill.
Healthcare Access and Quality
Bartley J. Madden and Alex Tabarrok weigh in on a new bill that would allow drug companies to obtain provisional approval for lifesaving drugs and promote transparency in patient outcomes.
Markus Bjoerkheim demonstrates that new guidelines by the Biden Administration to increase access to mental health services in schools risk making mental health services even more scarce for people in shortage areas.
Elise Amez-Droz lays out why CMS’s doubling down on zero-harm policies creates incentives that prevent healthcare professionals from delivering the best possible care and leads to worse patient outcomes.