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Archive for March, 2009




Oberlander: Health Reform Likely To Depend On (Budget) Reconciliation


March 30th, 2009

Whether comprehensive health reform passes this year is likely to depend on whether Senate Democrats are willing to use the so-called budget reconciliation process, which would allow them to pass health reform with a bare majority of 51 votes, Jonathan Oberlander said in a March 25 interview for the Health Affairs Blog. Oberlander, an associate professor of […]

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Health 2.0 Meets Ix — The Great Debates


March 27th, 2009

Editor’s Note: Health Affairs is proud to be a media partner for the Health 2.0 Meets Ix conference, which will take place April 22 and 23 in Boston, Massachusetts. As part of the lead-up to the conference, which will focus on the interplay between the Health 2.0 and information therapy (Ix) movements, Health Affairs Blog and other participating […]

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Health Affairs Health IT Briefing Available Online


March 26th, 2009

Health Affairs released its March-April Issue, “Stimulating Health IT,” at a March 10 briefing in Washington DC. Video and audio recordings of the briefing, with accompanying PowerPoint presentations, are available on the Health Affairs Website. An audio recording of the briefing is also available on ITunes. In addition, you can access an archive of a live Twitter feed […]

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No Direction Home: A Primary Care Physician Questions The Medical Home Model


March 24th, 2009

The train has left the station. Everyone is on board: health policy leaders both public, like the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), and private, like the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and the Commonwealth Fund; influential medical societies like the American College of Physicians and the American College […]

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Medical Students Still Favor Specialties Over Primary Care


March 23rd, 2009

Given the strong emphasis on medical specialization and the beleaguered state of primary care, Democratic and Republican policymakers and a host of private-sector interests are promoting the resurrection of the generalist doctor in the physician workforce. But most graduating medical students who matched to residency positions this year have not yet gotten the message. And […]

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Reforming Medicare’s Governance To Enhance Value-Based Purchasing


March 20th, 2009

With the release of the Medicare Trustees’ report for 2009, the worsening economy, and the continued high and rising cost of health care, many are anxiously awaiting a credible plan to reform the Medicare program and the health system as a whole. As Peter Orszag and others have argued persuasively, the ever-growing cost of health […]

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The U.S. Health System: The Rest Of The Story


March 19th, 2009

Here is a paper with as many as 100 references that you almost never see cited in Health Affairs, or in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), or in the New England Journal of Medicine (at least not in their public policy articles). In fact, if you are a regular reader of these publications, […]

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CEOs: Health Costs Disadvantage U.S. In Global Economy


March 13th, 2009

Releasing a study yesterday, the powerful Business Roundtable added fuel to the argument pressed by President Barack Obama—that rapidly growing medical expenditures pose a major threat to the long-term economic health of the United States. Adding a new international dimension to the estimated impact of rising health expenditures, the Business Roundtable report found that the United […]

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Stimulating Health IT: Hold Onto Your Hats!


March 11th, 2009

One of the more creative provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s $19 billion health information technology (IT) initiative calls for the creation of “regional extension centers” to “provide technical assistance and disseminate best practices . . . to support and accelerate efforts to adopt, implement, and effectively utilize” health IT. Simply put, the […]

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Health IT Briefing To Be On Twitter


March 9th, 2009

Tomorrow’s Health Affairs briefing, “Stimulating Health Information Technology,” will be covered live on Twitter. Posts will appear in real time on the twitter “channel” #HAHIT with important points, images and content from the event. For those who aren’t able to make it to the JW Marriott on Tuesday, this coverage will be a window onto the […]

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Health Affairs Briefing On Health Information Technology


March 5th, 2009

There is widespread agreement that greater investment in information technology (IT) is critical to reforming U.S. health care. The use of such technologies as electronic health record systems, personal health records, e-prescribing, and computerized physician order entry holds the potential for vastly improving care at a reasonable cost. The recently enacted economic stimulus legislation included […]

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The Attack On Health IT And Comparative Effectiveness Research: A Warning For What Lies Ahead


March 4th, 2009

Few of us could have predicted (or were ready for) the firestorm of opposition that provisions in the stimulus bill related to electronic health information or comparative effectiveness research created a few weeks ago. Oh, we might have thought that privacy issues related to electronic health records (EHRs) might be of concern. Or the fact that […]

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The Obama Budget: So Far Just Kicking The Can Down The Road


March 3rd, 2009

Speaking about the imperative to bring America’s entitlement spending under control last December, Barack Obama said, “What we have done is kicked this can down the road. We are now at the end of the road and are not in a position to kick it any further. We have to signal seriousness in this by […]

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