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Archive for December, 2006




GLOBAL HEALTH: Physician Heal Thyself — Stealth Reform In Foreign Assistance


December 27th, 2006

The global health literature is rich in studies of the challenges and intricacies of translating slivers of economic surplus from the industrialized countries into effective health, education, and development programs in the poorer countries to the south. Donors often express frustration over unpredictable behavior, byzantine politics, incomprehensible values, and an apparent absence of accountability on […]

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BLOG: New Health Policy Blog


December 22nd, 2006

This week Robert Laszewski, a consultant with Health Policy and Strategy Associates, and a keen observer of the health policy world, launched his new blog — Health Policy and Marketplace Review. Its goal is to “provide an ongoing review of health policy activity in Washington, D.C. and the marketplace.” First week posts cover such topics […]

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BLOG: Top 10 Posts on the Health Affairs Blog


December 21st, 2006

For your holiday reading pleasure, we list here the top 10 “most-read” posts during the first two months of the Health Affairs blog. Thanks to all who joined the debate. Additional commenting is always welcome. 1. NURSES: 7 Myths About the Nursing Shortage by Linda Aiken 2. HEALTH REFORM: Time for a Wake-Up Call by […]

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HOSPITALS AND PHYSICIANS: Repairing The Rift


December 19th, 2006

Relations between hospitals and physicians are broken. Can they be improved by lodging accountability for cost and quality in delivery systems consisting of local hospitals and the physicians who work within and around them? Extended hospital medical staff. The prospects for these still mostly virtual systems –- dubbed “extended hospital medical staffs” by Dartmouth professor […]

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HOSPITALS AND PHYSICIANS: Bob Berenson, Elliott Fisher And Gail Wilensky Debate Policy Proposals


December 19th, 2006

On Wednesday, Dec. 6, Health Affairs hosted a conference call among the authors of the primary papers in its Dec. 5 Web Exclusive package on hospital-physician relations: Chris Fleming (communications manager, Health Affairs): You all wrote very interesting papers for our package on hospital-physician relations, and I thought I would start things out by just […]

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REFORM: New Proposals Generating Debate


December 15th, 2006

In a Dec. 12 Health Affairs Web Exclusive [free access until Dec. 26], Kaiser Permanente Chairman and CEO George Halvorson and two other Kaiser executives put forward a plan to cover 85 percent of California’s uninsured, and 98 percent of Californians overall, within two years. The plan, which includes an individual mandate and additional assistance […]

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BLOG: Health Wonk Review #22 Is Up


December 14th, 2006

A new edition of Health Wonk Review is up on Rita Schwab’s MSSP Nexus blog. Rita introduces the biweekly round-up of the best of health policy blogging this way: “As health policy wonks (by the way, one of the definitions of wonk is “a student who spends much time studying and has little or no […]

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MEDICARE: Under The Gun–Medicare “Trigger” Looms in ’07


December 13th, 2006

Beltway sages expect the health agenda for the 110th Congress to be crowded, especially in comparison with other recent sessions, and can identify without great difficulty a number of issues that are likely to loom large come January. SCHIP reauthorization and Medicare’s physician payment dilemma are on most pundits’ short list of inevitable preoccupations. The […]

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GLOBAL HEALTH: A Call for Global Access To University-Developed Drugs


December 11th, 2006

In a 2001 campaign at Yale University, students, scientists, and the organization Doctors Without Borders asked Yale to help increase access to the AIDS drug d4t in South Africa. Yale scientists discovered and patented d4t; the university subsequently licensed the drug to Bristol-Myers Squibb, which marketed it for $1,600 per patient per year. Under pressure […]

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PHARMA: Chairman’s Parting Salvo On ESRD


December 6th, 2006

Rep. Bill Thomas (R-CA) has roared like a lion through much of his tenure as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. But he went out like a lamb this week in what was likely to be his last hearing as chair, notwithstanding that the subject was the vexatious problem of Medicare payment for […]

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INSURANCE: Less Competition Among Insurers, But More Competition From Banks?


December 5th, 2006

The health insurance industry will continue to consolidate, WellPoint, Inc. chairman, president, and CEO Larry Glasscock told me in an interview published November 28 on the Health Affairs Web site [2-week free access]. Glasscock also cautioned, however, that health insurers could face new competition from financial services companies.

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GLOBAL HEALTH: Private Insurance For Developing Countries


December 4th, 2006

In a March 2006 paper in Health Affairs [2-week free access], Mark Pauly and colleagues describe some of the thinking behind the World Bank’s interest in experimental programs to foster the growth of private insurance in developing countries. The authors’ focus is on countries where per capita income is low, government resources are limited, taxation […]

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COVERAGE: Over Half Of Uninsured Americans Can’t Afford Insurance; Can’t Get Public Coverage


December 1st, 2006

More than half of the nation’s uninsured residents are ineligible for public programs such as Medicaid but do not have enough resources to purchase coverage themselves, researchers from the Urban Institute report in a Health Affairs Web Exclusive [2-week free access] published November 30.

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