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Archive for March, 2008




The U.K Health System: A Rorschach Test For U.S. Reporting


March 31st, 2008

Editor’s Note: This post was written by several of the 2007-08 Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellows. These fellowships allow mid-career health services researchers and practitioners from Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom to spend up to 12 months in the United States, conducting original research and working with leading U.S. health policy experts. The lead […]

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Susan Dentzer Named New Health Affairs Editor-In-Chief


March 28th, 2008

Health Affairs and its publisher Project HOPE are pleased to announce that Susan Dentzer will become the journal’s new editor-in-chief on May 1, 2008. Dentzer, one of the nation’s most respected health policy journalists, is currently an on-air correspondent for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on the Public Broadcasting Service. She heads The NewsHour’s health […]

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Foundation Angels Ascending The Ladder Of Social Determinants


March 28th, 2008

As Jacob, one of the three Old Testament patriarchs, flees from his brother Esau, he stops for the night at Bethel, where he dreams of a ladder going from earth to heaven with the angels of God ascending and descending the ladder (Genesis 28:11-19). There is extensive biblical commentary on this dream and particularly on […]

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Physician Ownership And Self-Referral: A Commentary


March 27th, 2008

Editor’s Note: This is the last in a series of posts in response to Jon Gabel’s article “Where Do I Send Thee? Does Physician-Ownership Affect Referral Patterns To Ambulatory Surgical Centers?,” published March 18 on the Health Affairs Web site. Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) began the series, which also featured Jerry Cromwell. The tension between commerce and professionalism is not new. Maimonides warned against […]

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Can This Marriage Be Saved?: MedPAC Plays Matchmaker


March 26th, 2008

A lot of pipe dreams have been stoked by the seductive notion of “aligning incentives” — a catchphrase of the managed care era that promised better quality and lower costs in one magical bubble. But the divergent interests of patients, payers, and providers are in reality more likely to collide than align, a circumstance that […]

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Biased Referrals Based On Ability To Pay


March 26th, 2008

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of posts in response to Jon Gabel’s article “Where Do I Send Thee? Does Physician-Ownership Affect Referral Patterns To Ambulatory Surgical Centers?,” published March 18 on the Health Affairs Web site. Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) began the series, which will also feature Chris Cassel. Policymakers are increasingly concerned over incentives facing physicians to refer more lucrative, […]

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Building Something Worth Building For All Patients


March 24th, 2008

Editor’s Note: Today, Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) kicks off a series of posts on Jon Gabel’s article “Where Do I Send Thee? Does Physician-Ownership Affect Referral Patterns To Ambulatory Surgical Centers?,” published March 18 on the Health Affairs Web site. The series will also feature posts from Jerry Cromwell and Chris Cassel. To paraphrase the […]

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Getting Religion: The Revival Of SCHIP


March 21st, 2008

The State Children’s Health Insurance Program was supposed to be the MVP of various health care policy initiatives in 2007. SCHIP reauthorization, featured widely in conferences, at meetings, and on the Health Affairs Blog, had broad, bipartisan support uniting very strange bedfellows of all political stripes. Nonetheless, two bills for reauthorization were vetoed, and a modest extension keeps the […]

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Designing P4P Programs To Reduce Disparities


March 17th, 2008

Editor’s Note: This is the last in a series of posts on health and health care disparities that Health Affairs Blog is publishing in conjunction with the new March/April issue of Health Affairs on Disparities: Expanding The Focus, published with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Brian Smedley, Richard Epstein, Dora Hughes, and Tom […]

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Measuring Disparities, Improving Health: Closing The Gap


March 17th, 2008

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in a series of posts on health and health care disparities that Health Affairs Blog is publishing in conjunction with the new March/April issue of Health Affairs on Disparities: Expanding The Focus, published with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Brian Smedley, Richard Epstein, and Dora Hughes contributed earlier posts in the series, which […]

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Holy Benchmarks, Batman! A Real Policy Debate Breaks Out


March 14th, 2008

Like a recurring illness, stalemate looms again over the prospects for settling the issue of payment levels to private plans in Medicare, which now exceed the average per beneficiary cost of traditional fee-for-service Medicare by 13 percent, according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission. MedPAC recommends eliminating the differential, which funds extra benefits for private-plan […]

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Minority Health Legislation In The 110th Congress


March 14th, 2008

Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of posts on health and health care disparities that Health Affairs Blog is publishing in conjunction with the new March/April issue of Health Affairs on Disparities: Expanding The Focus, published with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Brian Smedley and Richard Epstein contributed earlier posts in the series, which will […]

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Health Care Disparities: Deregulation First, Redistribution Last


March 13th, 2008

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of posts on health and health care disparities that Health Affairs Blog is publishing in conjunction with the new March/April issue of Health Affairs on Disparities: Expanding The Focus, published with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Brian Smedley contributed the first post in the series, which […]

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Health And Health Care Inequality: Time To Act


March 12th, 2008

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of posts on health and health care disparities that Health Affairs Blog is publishing in conjunction with the new March/April issue of Health Affairs on Disparities: Expanding The Focus, published with support from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The series will also feature posts from Richard […]

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Disparities: Expanding The Focus


March 11th, 2008

Almost 17 percent of black children and 20.5 percent of Latino children in the United States live in “double jeopardy,” meaning that they live in both poor families and poor neighborhoods, according to research released today in the March/April issue of Health Affairs. In contrast, only 1.4 percent of white children live in double jeopardy. […]

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Coverage And Cost Containment: Both Are Needed


March 10th, 2008

Editor’s Note: This post continues the conversation in the Health Affairs Blog roundtable on the unsuccessful health reform effort in California. Below, Lucien Wulsin responds to the ideas expressed in the first round of California posts, which appeared last Wednesday and Thursday. You can also read and comment on response posts appearing today from Rick […]

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Guaranteed Issue? Only With An Individual Mandate


March 10th, 2008

Editor’s Note: This post continues the conversation in the Health Affairs Blog roundtable on the unsuccessful health reform effort in California. Below, Patricia Lynch responds to the ideas expressed in the first round of California posts, which appeared last Wednesday and Thursday. You can also read and comment on response posts appearing today from Rick Curtis […]

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Shared Responsibility: The Better Course


March 10th, 2008

Editor’s Note: This post continues the conversation in the Health Affairs Blog roundtable on the unsuccessful health reform effort in California. Below, Ed Neuschler and Rick Curtis respond to the ideas expressed in the first round of California posts, which appeared last Wednesday and Thursday. You can also read and comment on response posts appearing […]

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Leadership Transition At Health Affairs


March 7th, 2008

James C. Robinson, Ph.D., who became editor-in-chief of Health Affairs last September, has decided to return to the University of California, Berkeley, where he holds the Kaiser Permanente Distinguished Professorship of Health Economics in the School of Public Health. Robinson will step down as Health Affairs editor on July 1, 2008. The journal’s founding editor, […]

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BLOG: New Edition Of Health Wonk Review


March 6th, 2008

The Health Wonk Review, a biweekly round-up of the best of health policy blogging, is hosted today by Jon Coppelman at Worker’s Comp Insider. Topics range from Medicare Advantage plans to single-payer systems; pharmaceutical industry to AIDS in Africa. Worker’s Comp Insider is a five-year-old blog (very senior in blogosphere terms!) that looks at consumer […]

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