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Medicare

Other Medicare Policies Affecting Health Care Delivery

In addition to the influence of Medicare's payment systems, the program has had other important effects on the delivery of health care. One of the most significant of these was the requirement that hospitals treating Medicare patients must treat all those eligible, leading to the desegregation in the 1960s of many hospitals that had formerly excluded black Americans. Medicare has also been a leader in the development of data systems that have allowed research into various issues, such as how care is delivered in different parts of the country, and the creation of various quality measurements. Medicare decisions about coverage of certain procedures are often used by private insurers for their decision-making processes as well. Finally, included in Medicare's payments to hospitals are subsidies for hospitals that provide medical education and for those that treat a disproportionate share of low-income individuals. Unlike many other payers of health care, Medicare contributes not just to the costs for its own beneficiaries, but for other activities that benefit all Americans.

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Medicine EncyclopediaAging Healthy - Part 3Medicare - A Brief History And Overview, Changes In Payment Policies, Other Medicare Policies Affecting Health Care Delivery