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Archive for February, 2008




Top 10 Health Affairs Blog Posts


February 29th, 2008

For your Leap Day reading pleasure, we offer here the list of Top 10 most-read Health Affairs Blog Posts of 2007. Next up—Top 10 for January-February 2008. Additional commenting always welcome. INSURANCE: A Closer Look At HSAs by Uwe Reinhardt REFORM: Musings On SiCKO, July 4th, and Visions of America by Sarah Dine HEALTH REFORM: […]

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The Boomers Are Coming, But Don’t Panic Yet


February 28th, 2008

The good people in the Office of the Actuary (OA) at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) take great pains every year to summarize and explain their health spending forecast without spin or exaggeration. The editors of Health Affairs are perennially grateful to them for taking an approach that helps the journal fulfill […]

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HEALTH SPENDING: A Growing Economic Crisis


February 26th, 2008

Editor’s Note: The following post by Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) comments on the projections of national health spending from 2007 through 2017, published today by Sean Keehan and his colleagues in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Office of the Actuary as a Health Affairs Web Exclusive.  Although there’s a lot of explosive material in the latest National Health Expenditures […]

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HEALTH SPENDING: The Problem Is Government, Not The Market


February 26th, 2008

Editor’s Note: The following post by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) comments on the projections of national health spending from 2007 through 2017, published today by Sean Keehan and his colleagues at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Office of the Actuary as a Health Affairs Web Exclusive. The projection that health care spending will […]

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THE NEED TO AGGREGATE: What Should Come Next For Medicare Physician Payment?


February 25th, 2008

Editor’s Note: This is the seventh and last post in a Health Affairs Blog series on Medicare physician compensation and the Sustainable Growth Rate mechanism. Paul Ginsburg, Robert Berenson, Mina Matin, Jay Crosson, Frank Opelka, and Eugene Rich have contributed earlier posts. One of the advantages of coming last in a series of blog postings is that I can […]

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HEALTH DISPARITIES: RWJF To Launch Commission On Feb. 28


February 25th, 2008

On Thursday, February 28, 2008, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) will launch a non-partisan commission to identify and recommend practical solutions that address the many non-medical influences on health and improve opportunities for more Americans to make healthier choices.

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BLOG: Politics And More On New Health Wonk Review


February 21st, 2008

Today’s new Health Wonk Review rounds up posts from the political (would an Obama presidency energize young adults to demand entitlement reform?) to the analytical (John Wennberg’s practice variation work, the Medicare SGR debate, and more). This latest compendium of the best of health policy blogging is hosted today by Merrill Goozner of GoozNews, with great insights from […]

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THE “DOC FIX”: The CHAMP Act Approach To Medicare Physician Payment Reform


February 21st, 2008

Editor’s Note: This is the sixth post in a Health Affairs Blog series on Medicare physician compensation and the Sustainable Growth Rate mechanism. Paul Ginsburg, Robert Berenson, Mina Matin, Jay Crosson, and Frank Opelka have contributed earlier posts. The series will also feature a post by Gail Wilensky. In January 2007 the 110th Congress convened with the Democrats newly in the majority. Among […]

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THE SUSTAINABLE GROWTH RATE: Bringing The SGR To Individual Providers


February 20th, 2008

Editor’s Note: This is the fifth post in a Health Affairs Blog series on Medicare physician compensation and the Sustainable Growth Rate mechanism. Paul Ginsburg, Robert Berenson, Mina Matin, and Jay Crosson have contributed earlier posts, and in the coming days the series will feature posts by Eugene Rich and Gail Wilensky.  There will be little relief in Medicare expenditures in the coming years as the […]

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AN SGR REFORM PROPOSAL: The Impact Of A Payment Update Alternative For Multi-Specialty Group Practices


February 19th, 2008

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth post in a Health Affairs Blog series on Medicare physician compensation and the Sustainable Growth Rate mechanism. Paul Ginsburg, Robert Berenson, and Mina Matin have contributed earlier posts, and in the coming days the series will feature posts by Frank Opelka, Eugene Rich, and Gail Wilensky. Medicare expenditures for physician services continue to be impacted by the annual growth in […]

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PAID SICK LEAVE: GrantWatch Online Surveys The Landscape


February 14th, 2008

In March 2008, the Washington, D.C., City Council will decide whether to give final approval to The Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act, which would grant at least some “paid sick leave to all workers in the city,” the Washington Post recently reported. The article notes that “San Francisco is the only U.S. city with […]

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SPLITTING THE SUSTAINABLE GROWTH RATE: A Proposal To Strengthen Medicare And Primary Care


February 14th, 2008

Editor’s Note: This is the third post in a Health Affairs Blog series on Medicare physician compensation and the Sustainable Growth Rate mechanism. Paul Ginsburg and Robert Berenson have contributed earlier posts, and in the coming days the series will feature posts by Jay Crosson, Frank Opelka, Eugene Rich, and Gail Wilensky. Mina Matin is the lead author of this post; she is a third-year resident in […]

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INTERACTIONS BETWEEN THE SGR AND RBRVS: Making Sense Of Alphabet Soup


February 13th, 2008

Editor’s Note: This is the second post in a Health Affairs Blog series on Medicare physician compensation and the Sustainable Growth Rate mechanism. The first post by Paul Ginsburg appeared yesterday. In the coming days, the series will feature posts by Jay Crosson, Mina Matin, Frank Opelka, Eugene Rich, and Gail Wilensky.  To paraphrase Rodney Dangerfield, the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) gets no respect. In […]

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BITTER MEDICINE: Prescription To Fix SGR Requires A Commitment To Major Medicare Reform


February 12th, 2008

Editor’s Note: In the post below, Paul Ginsburg, the president of the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC), begins a Health Affairs Blog series on Medicare physician compensation and the Sustainable Growth Rate mechanism. In the coming days, the series will feature posts by Robert Berenson, Jay Crosson, Mina Matin, Frank Opelka, Eugene Rich, and Gail Wilensky. The Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) system is intended to keep […]

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HEALTH IT: Insurers Take The Plunge On Doctor-Patient E-Mail


February 12th, 2008

A report highlighting the failure of many regional health information exchanges was Health Affairs’ most-read article in December. Then in January, the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF) published another discouraging assessment on the progress of these collaboratives and of the national infrastructure envisaged in the 2004 presidential order that called for wiring the health system in […]

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BLOG: Election Politics And Health Reform On Wonk Review


February 7th, 2008

A new Health Wonk Review posted today provides some “serious wonkery” from the President’s State of the Union to presidential campaign politics and health reform. David Williams of Health Business blog is the host of this edition of the biweekly roundup of the best of health policy blogging. He offers a great snapshot and deftly tackles the business […]

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MUSINGS ON MANDATES: The Rhetoric And The Reality


February 7th, 2008

In the wake of the failure of the California health care reforms and the continuing focus on Massachusetts’ reforms, everyone in the American health care policy community seemed to be focused on mandates. They have also been the subject of reporting and opinion pieces for the last two days in the New York Times as […]

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