Deadline Extended for HSR Special Issue Call for Abstracts — Medicare and Medicaid at 60

This is cross-posted from the HSR website.

Submission deadline for abstracts has been extended to: Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Health Services Research (HSR) and the American Institutes for Research® (AIR) are partnering to publish a special issue on Medicare and Medicaid at 60. The issue will be edited by HSR Senior Associate Editor Marisa Elena Domino, PhD, Executive Director, Center for Health Information and Research, and professor, College of Health Solutions, Arizona State University, and Kelly Devers, PhD, Mai Hubbard, PhD, and Guido Cataife, PhD.

The purpose of this special issue is to provide rigorous and timely evidence for policymakers and other stakeholders about pressing issues related to the financing, organization, and delivery of U.S. health care through Medicare and Medicaid programs, using a prism of access, quality, equity, and costs.

The 60th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid will occur in 2025. Through demonstration programs and other research, a lot has been learned about Medicare and Medicaid, but there is still a lot we still don’t know about access, quality, equity, and cost. Some key challenges in the U.S. health care system in these two major public insurance programs include:

  • Addressing high and rising health care spending and suboptimal quality outcomes, in a system where almost 1 in 10 people still lack health insurance.
  • Improving overall population health, with a focus on the growing population of people with multiple chronic conditions and the role of health-related social needs in their care.
  • Reducing health disparities and advancing equity across social, economic, demographic, and geographic dimensions.
  • Complexities of multipayer alignment and lessons learned for Medicare and Medicaid through demonstrations and related efforts to optimize value-based payment approaches.

Within this context, this HSR special issue seeks to advance evidence and understanding related to the following broad topics:

Medicare as Change Agent: Past and Future—As the nation’s single largest health care payer, Medicare has significant purchasing power to drive systemwide change, especially related to payment reform and quality and patient safety initiatives. Examples of research questions in this topic area include:

  • What are the key lessons learned from Medicare’s push for accountable care through alternative payment models—what does and doesn’t work?
  • What can other payers learn from these efforts? How has provider participation been incentivized in alternative payment models?
  • Have Medicare quality and safety improvement efforts moved the needle on quality and safety?
  • What do we know about the potential for Medicare to better address health-related social needs like housing, food, and transportation?
  • What role has Medicare played in advancing more meaningful quality measurement, including patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) and person-centered measurement?
  • What have we learned from Medicare person/family engagement efforts and are there lessons for other payers?
  • How has Medicare Advantage (MA) growth affected Traditional Medicare and the broader health care system?
  • Are there adequate safeguards to ensure MA provider network adequacy for beneficiaries?
  • How effective are Medicare policies in supporting an adequate health workforce?
  • What is the evidence base that could inform Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiations?

Medicaid as Learning Laboratory—Across states, Medicaid programs differ significantly in eligibility, benefits, provider payments, and other dimensions. For example, the end of the public health emergency’s continuous enrollment requirement is playing out differently across states. Additionally, Medicaid pays for about half of all births in the country and is the nation’s largest payer of long-term care, including home- and community-based services to keep people out of nursing homes. Example research questions include:

  • What are the implications for access, quality, equity, and costs given Medicaid’s differing state policies?
  • How well do alternative payment models work in state Medicaid programs?
  • How effective are Medicaid efforts to decrease maternal and infant mortality and complications?
  • Are there important innovations in state Medicaid programs to reduce costs, improve quality, and increase access?
  • What efforts are working to improve care and reduce costs for beneficiaries dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid?
  • What are state Medicaid programs doing related to health-related social needs like housing, food, and transportation?
  • What are states doing to engage patients, families, and communities to improve health and wellbeing?
  • What’s the status of state Medicaid efforts to integrate physical and behavioral health care?
  • How have Medicaid mandatory core quality measures impacted provider performance?

The deadline for initial submission of abstracts is extended to Wednesday, January 31, 2024. Abstracts may not exceed 300 words and must be formatted as indicated in Section of the HSR Author Instructions (keywords not necessary). Studies can be based on quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods data or can be literature reviews and syntheses.

Abstracts will be evaluated by a multidisciplinary review panel. Evaluation criteria include: (1) quality, rigor, and originality; (2) relevance to the special issue theme; and (3) clarity of writing and presentation. Authors of abstracts that most closely match the criteria will be invited to submit full manuscripts.

Invited manuscripts must follow the Author Instructions and undergo the same HSR peer review process as regular issue manuscripts. However, due to the strict timeline for publishing the special issue, the process may be shorter. Authors must be prompt in returning revisions. Invited articles will be published online on acceptance. Some accepted articles might not be selected for the special issue but will be published in a regular issue.

The expected publication date for the special issue is March 2025.

To submit an abstract for consideration, please email it with the corresponding author’s contact information to Include “Medicare and Medicaid at 60” in the email subject line.

Key dates for authors
Submission deadline for abstracts: 31 January 2024
Full manuscript invitation: 5 February 2024
Full manuscript deadline: 1 April 2024
Special issue publication date: March 2025 but accepted articles will be posted earlier, after approval of proofs by authors

Questions? Please email Kelly Teagle at

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