Title

Understanding the impacts of the Medicare Modernization Act: concerns of congressional staff.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2005

Keywords

Aged, Community Pharmacy Services, Health Policy, Health Services Accessibility, Health Services Research, Humans, Insurance, Pharmaceutical Services, Medicare, Politics, Rural Health Services, United States

Publication Title

The Journal of Rural Health : Official Journal of the American Rural Health Association and the National Rural Health Care Association

Abstract

Sweeping changes to the Medicare program embodied in the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA), including a new prescription drug benefit, changes in payment policies, and reform of the Medicare managed-care program, have major implications for rural health care. The most efficient mechanism for research to affect policy is to provide policy makers with information on issues about which they have voiced concern. The Rural Policy Research Institute's Health Panel conducted 2 focus groups with 16 congressional staff in September 2004 to identify a set of researchable questions concerning the impact of the MMA on rural health care. This paper presents research questions in the following areas that staff identified as having the highest priority: access to health plans and pharmacy services, beneficiary outreach and enrollment, technology capacity, provider payment policy, and demonstration projects.

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