The health home, sometimes called a patient-centered medical home, is a relatively new health care model intended to provide team-oriented care for patients with chronic conditions. The intent is for providers to focus on improving care rather than managing costs, although savings are expected as a result of better care coordination. This brief reviews a number of studies of this care model. Early results of the research suggest that the model leads to improved care and may also save costs. The research also suggests that this change in health care delivery will not alone yield all the outcomes desired. Under the ACA, states are receiving funds to implement the health home model.

Yesterday President Obama announced that 7.1 million Americans had signed up for health insurance coverage through the health exchanges established by the Affordable Care Act. The number slightly exceeded the original 7 million estimate of the Congressional Budget Office, which was later reduced to 6 million after the problem-plagued rollout of the website in October 2013.

If the last surge of enrollment in March holds true to the earlier sign-ups, it is possible that another 7...

With the looming deadline for choosing health insurance quickly approaching, Yahoo News recently put out some enrollment figures by state. The idea was to contrast each state's projected enrollees by February 28th with the actual number of enrollees by March 1st. The numbers reveal a wide disparity between the states.

In the first four months the health insurance exchanges have operated, 3.2 million Americans have purchased health insurance plans. More than three of four of those buying health insurance qualify for subsidies to reduce their premiums to a more affordable level. Another 3.1 million Americans have been deemed eligible for Medicaid or CHIP in the 26 states and the District of Columbia where Medicaid eligibility have been expanded. The CSG infographic below provides a state-by-state look at enrollment, Oct. 1, 2013 to Feb. 1, 2014. The exchanges will continue to provide insurance enrollment through the end of March 2014. The data has been taken from this report released February 12, 2014, by the Department of Health and Human Services. 

Just hours before Gov. Maggie Hasan delivered her State of the State address yesterday, Senate leaders reached an agreement on Medicaid expansion.

New Hampshire held a special session in the fall of 2013 but was unable to reach an agreement to expand Medicaid, even after a Medicaid study group had recommended expansion. The House approved expansion but the Senate rejected it. 

Senate President Chuck Morse, a primary engineer of yesterday's agreement, says both parties...

The federal government has approved a Medicare waiver for Maryland intended to reduce hospital spending, Stateline reports today. Maryland is already the only state to set uniform prices for all hospitals. The same medical procedure costs the same in every hospital in the state regardless of the insurer, including Medicare and Medicaid. This has been true since 1974.

The Medicare waiver is how Maryland can set Medicare hospital rates – otherwise it would be subject to federal rules on rates. If the waiver succeeds in holding down costs, Maryland will continue to set its own Medicare hospital rates, currently higher than those in other states.

What do the Supreme Court cases where corporations challenge the Affordable Care Act's birth control mandate on religious grounds have to do with state government?  Nothing, at least on the surface.  But if you dig a little deeper the outcome of this case could affect state and local land use decisions.  That is why the State and Local Legal Center filed an amicus brief in this case. 

State policymakers once again are facing challenges in financing core programs as they deal with federal funding cuts. The most pressing questions facing policymakers this legislative session most likely will center on revenues needed to fund the basic role of government.

The Council of State Governments has released its annual listing of the top 5 issues legislators will face this session in education, energy and the environment, fiscal, health, interstate compacts and transportation.

“While many states are...

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear hasn’t second-guessed his decision to run a state-based health insurance exchange as part of the Affordable Care Act. The Kentucky exchange—Kynect—has been lauded as a model even as the website for federal exchange,, had a difficult rollout.

Health care spending is 18 percent of the national economy so it is no wonder that big health issues face the states in 2014. The all-consuming question for states is how to contain costs. The Affordable Care Act kicks in full force in 2014 and states that haven't already decided to expand Medicaid eligibility may take up the question. The health marketplaces, while slow to start in October, were making more headway as 2014 began. Nearly 4 million (3.9) individuals had been deemed Medicaid or CHIP eligible and another 2.1 million selected private health insurance policies through the federal or state marketplaces by the end of December 2013. States will look at systems and delivery methods, including mental health, aging and professional scope of practice issues.