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Medicare Coverage Policies Affect Service Utilization, Primary Care

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Studies examine effects of Medicare coverage policies on service utilization, primary care delivery systems for low-income people.

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* "The Impact of Medicare Coverage Policies on Health Care Utilization," Health Services Research: The study by Susan Bartlett Foote, a professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, and colleagues examines whether Medicare coverage policies affect utilization of services. The study finds that utilization changed following the effective date of a coverage policy in only one of eight procedures studies (Bartlett Foote et al., Health Services Research, August 2008).

* "Primary Care for Low-Income Populations: Comparing Health Care Delivery Systems," Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved: In the study, Ellie Grossman of the New York University School of Medicine and colleagues analyze National Health Interview Survey data to determine whether the site of care affects quality of and access to preventive care for low-income adults. According to the researchers, hospital clinics offer higher quality care in some preventive services for low-income populations than other primary care sites, but that clinics may perform "less well in measures of health care access" (Grossman et al., Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, August 2008).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. © 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.