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Medicare Payment Advisory Commission Focus Groups and Site Visits

Hospital with medical doctor communicating on phone. Doctor's office with medical paperwork in the background. Doctor is in a hospital, healthcare professional on the cellphone
Annual interviews and focus groups of Medicaid-Medicare beneficiaries and providers on payment and access
  • Client
    Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPac)
  • Dates
    2006 - Present


Including the voice of the beneficiary and provider in MedPAC’s work and recommendations.

MedPAC wants to ensure that the voice and experience of beneficiaries and providers are part of Medicare. Since 2006, NORC has conducted an annual series of focus groups with respondents including primary and specialty care physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, Medicare beneficiaries, Medicare-Medicaid beneficiaries, and near-beneficiaries (adults ages 55-64).


Conduct focus groups and interviews with beneficiaries and providers.

Focus groups cover topics including access to physician care and prescription drugs, coverage choices, coordination of care, signing up for Medicare, medical homes, certain aspects of Part D, benefit design, and recent changes to the structure and delivery of health care, such as bundled payments, quality incentives, and ACOs. NORC also conducts site visits and semi-structured interviews with health plans, health care systems, independent physicians, and providers participating in Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation models.


Inform Congress about beneficiary and provider experience in the Medicare program.

NORC’s analysis, based on data collected through site visits, literature reviews, key informant interviews, and beneficiary focus groups described above, supports MedPAC’s mission to advise the U.S. Congress on policy issues affecting payments under Medicare fee-for-service and Medicare Advantage, including access to care, quality of care, and other issues affecting Medicare. In the past year, the team has successfully pivoted from in-person to virtual interviews. Each project culminates in a final report that informs MedPAC’s annual reports to Congress.

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