Forum Session

Medicare and Medicaid Demonstrations: Experimenting for the Future
December 11, 2008


Mary Ellen Stahlman & Jennifer Ryan


Demonstrations have been a critical part of the evolution of the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Born of the recognition that the two programs would need a mechanism to test new policy approaches and to meet advances in health care delivery and financing, demonstrations have been broadly utilized in Medicare and Medicaid. While demonstrations differ in how they are developed, implemented and evaluated, the purpose is the same: to facilitate innovation and program improvements. This session explored why demonstrations are undertaken, how they have shaped the programs over the years, and why they are often controversial. Panelists also considered ways to improve the design and evaluation of demonstrations.


Herb B. Kuhn, Deputy Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; Jack C. Ebeler, Vice Chairman, Medicare Payment Advisory Commission; Alan Weil, JD, Executive Director, National Academy for State Health Policy; Charles E. Metcalf, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer (retired), Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.; Joseph Antos, PhD, Wilson H. Taylor Scholar in Health Care and Retirement Policy, American Enterprise Institute

Slides from the presentation by Dr. Kuhn are available for download. Speakers’ biographies are also available.

Related Materials

For more information, see the Background Papers "The Fundamentals of Medicare Demonstrations" and "Shaping Medicaid and SCHIP Through Waivers: The Fundamentals."

See also two Basics publications on the same topics, "Medicare Demonstrations" and "Medicaid and SCHIP Waivers."

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